Washington, July 9: US scientists, including those of Indian-origin, have developed a phone that runs without a battery. It harvests the power needed from ambient radio signals and light.
The team made a Skype call using the battery-free phone, which was built with components already available in the market. This was made possible by eliminating the power-hungry process of converting analogue signals into digital data.
Using this setup, the researchers were able to successfully make and receive calls (via Skype) and place callers on hold. But the scientists say they want to improve the prototype by adding an e-ink display with video-streaming capabilities and encryption to make the calls more secure.
Vamsi Tall, who coauthored the paper, says the base station technology they developed while it's still an early prototype could make it possible for battery-free mobile phones to become ubiquitous.
“You could imagine in the future that all cell towers or Wi-Fi routers could come with our base station technology embedded in it,” Tall said. “And if every house has a Wi-Fi router in it, you could get battery-free cellphone coverage everywhere.”
Instead, the battery-free cell phone takes advantage of tiny vibrations in a phone’s microphone or speaker that occur when a person is talking into a phone or listening to a call.