We’ve seen ways to charge cell phone by fuel cells, sunlight, wind and even dancing. But what about with sound waves? For mobile phone users, a dead battery or lost charger are just a few of the frustrations of modern life. Now new research promises a way to recharge phones using nothing but the power of sound.
A few years ago we heard about how Korean scientists proposed using sound to charge cell phones with zinc oxide nanowires converting sound into electricity. At the time, the researchers couldn’t generate enough of a current to actually charge a phone. However scientists from Nokia and Queen Mary University of London have succeeded in doing so. The technology uses tiny strands of zinc oxide sandwiched between two electrodes. A sound absorbing pad on top vibrates when sound waves hit it, causing the tiny zinc oxide wires to compress and release. This movement generates an electrical current that can then be used to charge a battery.
The technology is still in its experimental stage. Just imagine a world without batteries and chargers. The prototype device is about the size of a Nokia Lumina mobile phone and is reported to be capable of generating up to five volts using everyday background noise such as traffic, music, and voices. Five volts is enough to charge a mobile phone.
This new research promises a way to recharge phones using nothing but the power of the human voice. We could be charging our phones just by having a conversation. Just like everything else this also has a downside to the innovation, it will give people a new reason to shout into their phones to be able to get as much power as they can. With all the noise around us no one will ever complain about a dead battery again.