Scientists Have Developed World’s First Battery-Free Mobile Phone (See, How it Works!)


batteryfree cell phone

Scientists have developed a battery-less cell phone which runs almost at zero power and consumes energy by harvesting ambient radio signals or light. This is the first cell phone of its kind, that consumes almost no power.

The prototype of the cell phone is the culmination of a year-long research by Talla, a research associate at the lab of Joshua Smith. If you run out of battery, and you can still send texts and make calls, what else you would ask for?


How the Battery-Less Phone works?

For a smartphone to operate without a battery, that phone needs to rely only on energy. Now if it doesn’t have a source, it needs to harvest energy from its surroundings. This phone works on Ambient light, where the device turns the trickle of electricity into energy with the solar panels or photodiodes. Not only light, but the phone can turn Radio-TV frequencies and Wi-Fi broadcasts into energy using an antenna.

Why can other Smartphones not work like this?

The battery-less phone will have a hybrid system, which would use both the technologies of turning light and signals into energy and generate a few microwatts. The main problem with a traditional smartphone is, that it takes up tens of thousands of times more powerful. It takes up around 800 milliwatts, just to make a five-minute call.

How does the Battery-Less Smartphone work with almost No Power?

Scientists primarily focused on the communication front and developed a technique called Backscatter. The Backscatter allows a device to communicate just by reflecting the incoming radio waves. Traditional phones convert analogue human speech into the medium of digital signals, which takes up a lot of power. This phone will work by communicating through analogue technology, which would make the device more power efficient.

The Reality

Though it’s still a long way to go, for now, the battery-less phone has a basic touch sensitive number pad. A bigger touchscreen would take up around 400 milliwatts, which is a hundred thousand times more power than what this phone produces. Voice calls aren’t still that clear, and it’s awkward, as you need to switch between listening and talking, like a walkie-talkie..!

The Future

Though they are working on how they can improve the call quality, and will even add an E-Ink Display for the text conversations. The next generation of the device will possibly get a camera too.

The Price

Though where the prototype stands and how the device is built, it will be very economical. The device has been built off-the-shelf components and will be much cheaper than the normal smartphones. Even in the future, with the upgradations, if it produced at a large scale, it would still be cheaper.

The best part is, you no more have to worry about the Charger, Power Bank or ELECTRICITY!


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