Self-Charging Cell Phones?

While many of us probably view a dead cellphone battery as a minor annoyance in our daily lives, epic texters, gamers and business people who need constant access to their phones will likely view the new technology being developed by researchers at the Ohio State University as a metaphoric life preserver.

This new technology promises to increase a single charge’s life span by 30 percent. This is made possible through a new patented technology that converts some of the cell phone’s radio signals into direct current which in turn charges the phones battery. Researchers say this technology could be built into a modern cell phone with negligible increases in size or weight.

While there are some devices like this already on the market, they are only able to gather a few radio waves and only charge small devices such as temperature sensors.

Almost all of the radio waves transmitted by a cell phone are lost and never recovered – this device allows your phone to recycle those radio waves. Oddly enough, the principles behind this technology are hardly new to science. In fact, the ideas are as old as commercial electricity. Radio waves are essentially a very high-frequency form of alternating current. Like most modern electrical devices, a cell phone needs direct current. This new technology works like the adapters or rectifier circuits inside modern devices to switch the AC (the radio waves in this case) into DC power the phone can use to stay charged. Whether you know it or not you’ve seen a rectifier before. Many modern cables, like a laptop charger, have external rectifiers.

The system only works when the phone is transmitting signal, however, typically data transmission is what drains a phones battery the most. Therefore, this new technology would help a phone charge itself when it is working its hardest.

Researchers estimate the first charging system will cost around a hundred dollars.

Jody Victor