06 Jul 2017

The first battery-free phone is ready, and it works on ambient power

Having to recharge phone's batteries every night could soon become passé as University of Washington (UW) researchers have developed a battery-free phone. Make no mistake, the phone still needs power, but its power consumption is so low that it can derive it using the ambient radio signals or light available in the surroundings. No chargers, chords and separate batteries required. Ain't that cool?

battery-free-phone-uw

The team has already demonstrated a working prototype built using off-the-shelf components that can make and receive Skype calls. UV Prof. Shyam Gollakota of the UV said that the research team had to rethink how the phones are made. The prototype consumes 'almost zero' power ( ~3.5 mW ).

Researchers eliminated the most power consuming step in the cell phones - the one that converts analog signals into digital that the phone can understand. This step is so power hungry that until now it was almost impossible to think of a phone that'd only rely on ambient power. The phone developed by UW makes use of the tiny vibrations in the phone whenever the user speaks or is listening to a call. An antenna connected to the components converts the vibrations into changes in the signals sent by the cellular base station. Check out video below.


The team had to create a custom base cell station. The team confirms that it can be integrated into existing cell stations stations and even the home routers. This means, if you're in the signal-range of a Wi-Fi router or cell station, you'll be able to make and receive calls through a phone that doesn't have traditional batteries.

Read more about the battery-free phone on the source link below and let us know your comments. Do you think this technology will bring a huge disruption in the phone world?

Source: UW

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