The evolution of modern smartphones continues and the possibilities are limitless and at times, almost unimaginable. It may soon be possible to own a mobile phone that does not require the usual charging as it comes without a battery.
A group of researchers from the University of Washington has created a prototype of a cellphone that operates without power coming from a battery. So how does it work?
Simple materials comprise the battery-free prototype—a circuit board, capacitive touch buttons, and some other components. It needs just 3.5 microwatts of energy to work as it utilizes ambient power coming from light and radio signals. The prototype, which is still in the early stage of development, is equipped with a solar cell that is just the size of a typical grain of rice. However, it can transmit signal back to a source or base station that is just 50 feet away.
To make it work, the group of researchers also devised a custom base station that is specifically designed for transmission of signal even with a small amount of energy. This efficient pairing is the key to make the battery-free mobile phone effective.
In this setup, initial tests succeeded in making and receiving calls using the prototype mobile phone. Aside from that, the device can also put calls on hold.
This breakthrough is just the first step. The team of researchers intend to make improvements on the prototype by adding an e-ink display that can facilitate video streaming. Encryption will also be infused to ensure security of calls.
Vamsi Tall, one of the researchers, envisions a future wherein all signal towers or even Wi-Fi routers are equipped with their custom base station technology. “If every house has a Wi-Fi router, you could get battery-free cellphone coverage everywhere,” he said.
Are you ready for this promising new technology?