Future mobile phones could be charged by speaking into them

One of the biggest problems for mobile phone users or indeed anyone that uses a portable consumer electronics device is the consumption of power. Despite attempts to create longer lasting batteries for various products ultimately users must charge a phone via an electrical outlet. Now a new report on the Telgraph web site reports that a group of electrical engineers are coming up with a way to charge mobile phones simply by speaking into it.

The technology is being developed by team members at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea. They are coming up with ways to turn sound into electricity. This is how the new technique works:

The technology uses tiny strands of zinc oxide sandwiched between two electrodes. A sound absorbing pad on top vibrates when sound waves hit it, causing the tiny zinc oxide wires to compress and release. This movement generates an electrical current that can then be used to charge a battery.

A prototype has already been developed by the university's team that the article claims can "convert sound of around 100 decibels - the equivalent of noisy traffic - to generate 50 millivolts of electricity." Of course that amount of power isn't nearly enough to charge current mobile phones but Sungkyunkwan University's team members hope that they will be able to create different materials that will allow for higher amounts of power to be generated by sound.

Ultimately the goal is to create a process where speaking into the device would charge it up. Indeed things like background noise could also be detected by such a device to charge it up when it is not being used. Other scientists are coming up with similar ways to charge portable devices such as the human heart beat or via body movement.

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27 Comments

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What? Deaf people can't talk on phone just texting!
"aaaaaauuuugggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhheee"
Quick text before battery go flat!

Jeex said,
Can't imagine this generating more than kinetic energy.

thats the point? were you expecting it to produce solar or nuclear generated energy?

ILikeTobacco said,

thats the point? were you expecting it to produce solar or nuclear generated energy?

Rofl

If this comes true in a few years people will be yelling at their phones for no reason:p but I don't think it will be successful though it might not be popular that much for example video calls.

3Cube said,
Not fair. Teenage girls are gonna get way better battery life than me.

Since when did teenage girls ever 'talk' on a phone? I see thumbs move at the speed of light, but not mouths...

no-sweat said,
sucks for us with no friends to talk too

In that case you won't really need a phone to begin with. So there you go.

.Neo said,

In that case you won't really need a phone to begin with. So there you go.

boi u crazy. phones aren't for talking

This could be awesome for other things. Can you imagine hybrid planes? The amount of noise they make... less pollution, cheaper flight tickets! Maybe not now, but when it's perfected it could probably generate more power.

At first when I read the title I thought, wow the carriers are finding another way to charge their users an extra fee (I m still kinda steamed that they still charge extra for tetherings to other devices for the same data you already paid for)

[quote=carson2255 said,]At first when I read the title I thought, wow the carriers are finding another way to charge their users an extra fee (I m still kinda steamed that they still charge extra for tetherings to other devices for the same data you already paid for)[/quote

weren't completely off base. if you talk into the phone to charge, you are now using minutes to charge. the more minutes you use, the more they charge.

So, people shouting "Can you hear me now?" in their phones will be charging the batteries ...

Oh boy, this is going to be fun ...