While smartphone makers are vying with each other to boast of 4000mAh and 5000mAh batteries in their devices, a team of scientists have succeeded in testing a mobile phone than can work without a battery as the power source. Interestingly, the team that did this research included persons of Indian origin as well.
What prompted this team to find ways to eliminate the use of batteries on mobile handsets is the fact that lithium and ion combination used to make these batteries is quite dangerous. And one has to only recall the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 accidents to appreciate the real risk involved.
The basic concept the research team at the Washington University worked on was that the maximum amount of energy consumed by a mobile phone is in the process of converting the signals which are in analogue format into data that is digital in format.
This process has been done away with in this batter-free device. Instead, the vibrations produced when a person is speaking through the tiny microphone in the handset are speech encoded and transmitted to the receiving mobile handset as such. At the receiving end, this encoded speech is converted back into vibrations, which the phone’s speaker is able to capture and you can complete the conversation.
A physical button has been provided on the demo phone to switch between transmitting and receiving modes. This is just a prototype and once the concept is accepted and mass production takes place this can always be improved upon to make it more sophisticated.
The team has gone on to demonstrate a Skype call on the device delivering all functions, making a call, receiving one and even putting a call on hold.
So, does the phone work without absolutely no power? Not exactly. A tiny 3.5 micro-watts power source is definitely needed for which they have suggested a couple of alternatives.
The researchers have developed a base station which can handle the transmission and receiving of the signals from the mobile device. This base station type module, the team believes can be easily integrated into the cellular network towers that the service providers rely on to capture and transmit signals.
Indoors, Wi-Fi routers can also be formatted to function as the instrument for transmitting and receiving the signals.
This is an interesting development and if the phone companies pick up the suggestions and work on this, battery-free mobile phones can indeed become a reality.