This Battery-Free Phone Runs on Radio Waves and Magic

Imagine a magical cellphone that didn’t need to be charged to make calls. Well, Vamsi Talla has built just that, a single board cellphone that doesn’t need to be charged and doesn’t even have a battery.

So how does it work? The phone receives power through sunlight or RF waves from cellphone towers, the phone then uses a process called backscattering to make a call by modifying and reflecting those waves back to the tower. Just like I thought, magic. The phone runs on magic.

The phone can even make Skype calls, which further proves that it’s a form of black magic. And while in use, the phone only consumes 3 microwatts of power, while a standard smartphone uses about 10,000 times that.

With this innovation, smartphones could one day be able to make simple call, even when their battery is completely dead. Talla plans to add an e-ink display for very basic functions, and hopes the phone could eventually be a cheap solution for people in third-world countries as it currently only costs about $1 to produce.

[ IEEE ]