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Cellphone Skin Could Capture Its Own Radio Signals, Harvest Some Energy

Cellphone Skin Could Capture Its Own Radio Signals, Harvest Some Energy


It’s claimed that up to 97% of a cellphone’s radio signals are simply lost, most of the time simply trying to find nearby towers, or just staying connected to your router. Researchers at The Ohio State University are developing a product that could extend current battery life by up to 30% by harvesting a portion of these wasted signals.

There are some products newly on the market that harvest stray radio signals to charge tiny wireless devices such as temperature sensors. But the Ohio State invention is many times more powerful and efficient, said Robert Lee, professor of electrical and computer engineering.

To communicate, today’s portable devices broadcast radio signals—that is, high-frequency AC—a portion of which the Ohio State rectifier system captures and converts back to DC. Its trick is to siphon off just enough of the radio signal to noticeably slow battery drain, but not enough to degrade voice quality or data transmission.

The researchers are currently working on a skin that could be applied to your phone and would do the job of harvesting this lost energy. But the aim is to eventually work at the OEM level, directly with phone manufacturers, to help them extend devices’ battery lives. When and if it ever does make it to market, the engineers expect it to cost around $100.

[ PhysOrg ] VIA [ DamnGeeky ]