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Motion-based power due 2009

Motion-based power due 2009

The M2E Power charger, due in 2009, will use your own motion to charge your portable devices.

If you're sick of waiting for Tesla-inspired wireless power to become a reality, allow me to offer you the next best thing: motion-based power for your portable devices.

According to eco-blog SmartPlanet a company called M2E power, created last year to investigate the possibilities of charging your devices on-the-go with waste energy from your movements, has succeeded in building prototype mobile chargers based around their technologies.

The design is pretty simple: a lithium-ion battery does the juice storing, and the energy is generated when a magnet moves through a series of coils as the device gets jostled about. Put it in your backpack and go about your daily business, and you'll have a nice emergency charger ready when you need it. If you sap it and need more, you'll also be able to steal your company's electricity thanks to the ability to connect it up to the mains for rapid charging.

The technology, developed at Boise State University, is pretty smart – optimised, as it is, for the slow gait most of us favour rather than the constant rapid motion required by other motion-based generators to produce usable current – but has a long way to go: M2E Power states that the current revision of the device takes a full six hours to add just under an hour of talktime to an average mobile 'phone. Now, I don't know about you, but I'm not usually on the go for almost a full working day – I'm usually found sat on my backside in front of the PC, during which time the device won't be generating much of anything.

That said, there are definite applications for the technology – a GPS which uses your walking motions to recharge itself, for example. I'd still like to see the efficiency rise quite considerably before I'd be likely to buy one myself – and I say that as the proud owner of a Chinese solar charger which has an in-built lithium-ion battery and a USB socket.

Could you see the future being portable devices that harness wasted motion to recharge themselves, or is the technology never likely to hit the efficiencies required to make it usable? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

6 Comments

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sotu1 27th August 2008, 09:27 Quote
a Chinese solar charger which has an in-built lithium-ion battery and a USB socket.

dude, tell me more about this gizmo, it soudns wikid!
Gareth Halfacree 27th August 2008, 09:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by sotu1
a Chinese solar charger which has an in-built lithium-ion battery and a USB socket.

dude, tell me more about this gizmo, it soudns wikid!
It's this. Really useful, if a trifle dear for what it is. The solar cells charge up the internal battery, which then discharges into your device when you connect the special iclething-to-USB cable. Can charge my palmtop fully from dead, too.

There are other, similar devices available on that site too.
wuyanxu 27th August 2008, 10:25 Quote
that motion charging is a good idea in theory. but just like solar panel charging, it won't catch on. extra battery pack still works better than sitting in the sun for 2 hours or walking 3 miles and discovering your important phone call still have to be cut short because the motion charging is not as effective as it should be.

motion generated electric train sensor or a low voltage device designed to use that motion generated low voltage supply is a good idea. charging a 5v 500amp device is not.

or this for solar charger
TRG 27th August 2008, 14:31 Quote
There are MUCH more effective devices than this one. One in particular can charge an average cellphone for 6 hours from just 30 minutes of walking. it is a big brace attached to the user's knees.
iggy 27th August 2008, 16:27 Quote
attach them to cows and sheep.
LordPyrinc 28th August 2008, 01:19 Quote
I just recently purchased a watch made by Fossil that is charged by movement. It's pretty slick. If it goes completely dead, just wind it a couple of turns to the right, set the time and put it back on. The only time mine has gone dead is over a slow weekend where I stayed in mostly and didn't wear it. I think in the long run that the tech behind this will get better and we will see much cooler applications of it.
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