The phone of the future will charge off your voice, bring potential for never-dying batteries.


Being a smartphone aficionado over the last several years has shown me time and time again just how badly battery technology has languished. It seems like we hear stories all the time of the next latest and greatest battery tech that is “just on the horizon”. And yet, that horizon never comes. The stories fade into oblivion and we never hear about them again. This more recent story isn’t about a type of battery per say, but more in how batteries charge. Currently, batteries need an electronic power source, whether it be a battery or a wall out let, to leech power from. There’s plenty of times in the average person’s day that such things just aren’t possible. Enter the world of 2035 and the spectacle of batteries charging themselves solely by the human voice.

Charging by voice? Yeah, I know. It sounds pretty crazy. But according to researchers at Young Jun Park and Sang-Woo Kim, such things are actually possible. All it takes is a small field of nanowires crammed between two electrodes. From there, the researchers blasted the concoction with a 100db sound wave. The end result was a 50mV electrical charge. With some more work, this could be quite the development as far as battery charging is concerned. All phones — Even smartphones — at their most basic level exist to communicate, with voice calling still being the de facto standard. The researchers have also proposed using this same tech for adding extra electricity back into the electrical grid during peak travel times and rush hour by way of road noise, car engines, etc.

It may all seem pretty scientific. But if you think about it, a speaker transforms electrical impulses into sound. Why should we be able to do the reverse?

**Coicidently, in looking for an image for this post, I stumbled on this post from ScienceHead that pretty much boasts of the same exact thing — back in 2007. This method, however, doesn’t use the nanowire and electrode method. Instead it relies on an apparently much less efficient vibrating copper wire-based method. Food for thought…




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Author: Mike

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Gadget lover, smartphone collector, and beer connoisseur. I've been writing about gadgets for three years now and loving every minute of it. Outside of the digital landscape, I enjoy being active outdoors. I'm always up for a good conversation, so feel free to drop me a line!