Nokia charging phone with thin air …

[tweetmeme] We all have had Nokia Phones at some time, and we always have loved them for their robust nature along with their ease of use. A lot of people mention that with the new technologies in the world, Nokia has sort of lost its relevance. I think on the other hand Nokia is looking at different markets than the giant that it has become, iPhone and the Phone that aspires to be the Giant, the Motorola Droid, or the Google Nexus One.

As long as technology is moving on, so is the need for more juice in the batteries of the phones. More requirement for the power means that there will be more advancements required in batteries; or charging for the batteries. What if you dont really have to charge them at all, I mean physically. Ofcourse there are ways, like kinetic energy transformation, solar energy etc. But here’s another concept; Like Nokia I have always been wondering about how much energy is in the air all around us, I am not talking about the energy of people; but more to do with energy of wireless radio systems. Be it FM transmitting radio, GSM signals, Wi-Fi Signals or terrestrial radio systems. What if we could tap into that power to enable mobile phones to pick up the charging of the batteries from there. Completely wireless, and completely practical.

I guess what needs to be worked out is how long it will take to tap this power and how long can you charge the phone with this. Well Nokia is at it again, their innovation well not really aimed at high end phones but mostly innovation like these. Nokia Research center is working on a solution that will help the cause of wireless charging.


A new prototype charging system from the company is able to power itself on nothing more than ambient radiowaves – the weak TV, radio and mobile phone signals that permanently surround us. The power harvested is small but it is almost enough to power a mobile in standby mode indefinitely without ever needing to plug it into the mains, according to one of the researchers who developed the device at the Nokia Research Centre in Cambridge, UK. The concept is being worked upon by different fronts, old crystal radio sets and more recently modern radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, increasingly used in shipping and as antitheft devices, are powered purely by radiowaves.

The difference with Nokia’s prototype is that instead of harvesting tiny amounts of power (a few microwatts) from dedicated transmitters, Nokia claims it is able to scavenge relatively large amounts of power — around a thousand times as much — from signals coming from miles away. Individually the energy available in each of these signals is miniscule. But by harvesting radiowaves across a wide range of frequencies it all adds up. Such wireless transfer of energy was first demonstrated by Nikola Tesla in 1893, who was so taken with the idea he attempted to build an intercontinental transmission tower to send power wirelessly across the Atlantic. Nokia’s device is somewhat less ambitious and is made possible thanks to a wide-band antenna and two very simple circuits. The antenna and the receiver circuit are designed to pick up a wide range of frequencies — from 500 megahertz to 10 gigahertz — and convert the electromagnetic waves into an electrical current, while the second circuit is designed to feed this current to the battery to recharge it.

Wireless charging is not intended as a sole energy source, but rather to be used in conjunction with other energy harvesting technologies, such as handset casings embedded with solar cell materials. According to Technology Review magazine, the phone could be on the market in three to five years.

In the meantime, there are other companies who are working on similar concepts  for charging devices wirelessly using the ambient radio waves. At CES 2010, RCA introduced something even better that’s going to be available way sooner: a dongle that tops up your mobile device’s battery via WiFi signals. Notice I didn’t say that it only tops up your cell phone battery; according to RCA reps, this little fella will work with just about all of your mobile devices.

The attachment is efficient enough that it actually provides a noticeable boost to your battery, and given enough time it will charge it to the max. Other similar gizmos have provided only a weak top-up charge at best, so this is a huge improvement. And what’s even better is that the device will be available for around $40 in the summer of 2010. Soon, as long as you’re in an urban environment or around a WiFi router, worrying about your phone’s charge will be the last thing on your mind.

The future applications of the technology are exciting as well. In 2011, RCA expects to release batteries with the WiFi charging capability built right in. There’s no word yet on how much those will cost, but does it matter? The prospect of never having to plug your phone in again will probably be enough to have them flying off of the shelves. Video Included.

Via source and source

    • Clare Anne
    • March 2nd, 2010

    Saw this & found it really interesting. I thik its definalty a technology worth investing in – if it does nothing but clear up cupboard space taken up with hundreds of charges! Can’t see it being very cheap though…

      • misterjester
      • March 4th, 2010

      Really I would also be the one buying this for my current phones, or the new phones when they come

    • Leorah
    • March 31st, 2010

    I worry about the affordability, myself, though this is all very interesting. And it’s accessability only to urbanites is another disappointment.

    I’m hoping you can clear something up for me regarding Tesla’s discovery since I may have it all wrong, not being a scientist or knowing much about any of this technology. But I was under the impression that, because Tesla’s discovery would have meant a virtually “free source” of energy for all, it was somehow, by the powers that be, burried as a possibility, considering how much of the world’s business interests depend on everyone having to pay for energy. To me, this explanation makes a lot of sense, and I can see the total outrage and unacceptability it would have posed to any possible “utility” being seriously put into place. I can see also, though, how this could be a kind of “mythology” that merely simplifies a more complex number of reasons that explain why Tesla’s ideas could not have been put into place, if they indeed might have led eventually to a kind of free energy source for all. And who knows, maybe the kind of energy harvesting he proposed or foresaw would have been damaging to the environement in some overall way, or unsafe in more specific ways considering the way many other things work. As you can see, I’m fairly clueless about it all, and have only really adopted this generalized mythology into my thinking because I’m such a strong proponant of environmental change and so dismayed by all the wars fought and lives lost on behalf of big oil and other corporate interests.

    When and if you have the time, if there’s any way you could directly clue me in, as simply as possible, to the legacy of Tesla’s work, or sources I might consult to learn more, I’d greatly appreciate this.

    Thanks so much.

  1. March 7th, 2010

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