Nokia developing the never-charge handset

June 19, 2009 | 10:10

Tags: #rfid #wireless-charging

Companies: #nokia

If – like me – you have a tendency to forget to put your beloved mobile 'phone on charge each night, Nokia might just be about to answer your most fervent dreams: a handset which runs on fairy dust and dreams.

Okay, so the handset requires perhaps a little more than that: according to an article over on CNet, the Finnish mobile giant's latest wheeze is a mobile which absorbs free energy out of the air in the same way as an RFID tag.

The technology – currently being condensed into prototype form by Nokia's Cambridge-based Research Centre – snags free energy by absorbing the ever-present radio waves that surround us: TV signals, radio signals, even WiFi hotspots. By converting this excess energy into internal power, the handset will – the team believes – be able to absorb upwards of 50 milliwatts of power.

While 50mW might sound like a vanishingly small amount – and it is, although far higher than the 5mW that current lab experiments have yielded – it's more than a simple handset would need to keep itself running. A basic handset would require around 20mW to stay in standby – allowing the excess 30mW to be used in the trickle-charging of the device's battery. Okay, so it'll take a while to charge – but it can be charging all the time.

It's a neat idea, but not one we'll be seeing commercialised immediately: the researchers have said that it won't be developed into a usable solution for at least three years – more realistically, five. Despite the clear barriers to the technology, it has at least been proven as a concept in the increasing uses of passive RFID tags, which harvest radiowaves and convert them to enough energy to transmit their own unique code.

Tempted by the thought of a mobile 'phone you never need to charge, or are you slightly suspicious as to how long a 50mW current could keep your smartphone running for? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
Discuss this in the forums
YouTube logo
MSI MPG Velox 100R Chassis Review

October 14 2021 | 15:04