On saving: Researchers created a ‘battery-free’ mobile phone

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Soon, mobile phones may never need to be charged anymore. This is the claim of a recent research out of the University of Washington, where examiners have produced a mobile phone prototype that doesn’t require a battery to function.

The amazingly practical prototype requires just 3.5 microwatts of juice, and it uses an innovative method to avoid the necessity for a battery cell. Rather, it uses ambient energy from radio signals and light. Its onboard solar cell is, according to them, “roughly the size of a grain of rice” which is used to transmit a signal back to a base station that may be as far as 50 feet away.

Using this method, the scientists were able to make and receive calls via Skype and even place callers on hold. But the researchers say they want to develop the prototype by adding an e-ink display with video-streaming abilities and encryption to make the calls protected from third party websites and hackers.

“You could imagine in the future that all cell towers or Wi-Fi routers could come with our base station technology embedded in it,” Vamsi Tall, a co-author of the research, said.

“And if every house has a Wi-Fi router in it, you could get battery-free cell phone coverage everywhere,” he added.