Could Your Next Phone Be Powered By Your Voice?

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Creative minds have come up with plenty of ways to get you out of a jam where your smartphone is dead and you haven’t any access to a power outlet. You could use a solar panel to trickle-charge your phone, or maybe turn a hand-cranked dynamo for an extra boost of juice. Wouldn’t it be great, though, if there was a way to keep your smartphone charged without having to carry around extra gear, or leave it sitting out in the sun; some way of getting power that you wouldn’t have to worry about at all? There’s work being done now that may present the solution, letting a phone generate power with the sound of your own voice.

The idea of grabbing bits of power from the everyday things that mobile devices are exposed to is nothing new; automatic watches have been keeping themselves wound by weights harnessing casual wrist movement for years. The tech behind this sound-based design is being developed by a team of Korean researchers. The system they’re working on uses sound waves to compress and release tiny zinc oxide wires, generating a small current in the process. Right now, it’s not enough to be much use, but refining the technique with higher-efficiency materials could make it feasible to keep a battery charged.

While your voice would be the most obvious source of sound to power such a system, any ambient noise would do. Just leaving your smartphone in a room with a TV on might someday be enough to top-off its battery. There’s no telling if something like this will ever be adopted for a commercial product, but if the tech matures enough, we just might see something like it a few years down the road.

Source: The Telegraph

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!