Battery-less Smartphone in the Works

July 11, 2017, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Smartphone buyers can never be arrayed under a single category. They all have various wish list when it comes to buying a phone of their choices. Some may give an upper hand to display, while some get excited with increasing processing capabilities.

But be it any category, all the buyers do tend to give attention to certain specifications in common, the most crucial one among which is the battery. But future smartphone could make you overlook the battery specifications if an ongoing research heads in the right direction. That’s because if this turns fruitful, then future smartphones might not have to allot a space for battery.

Researchers from University of Washington are the one who have come up with the bizarre idea of making a mobile phone free of battery. Interestingly, they have even developed a prototype which requires only 3.5 microwatts of power to get functioning. But such petite power isn’t yet ready to accommodate all the smart functioning of a mobile phone however, at least as of now.

The display-free however vamps up some additional functionalities apart from making calls like connectivity to Skype and capacitive touch buttons. The minute power it require is currently drawn from radio signals and light, which is provided through a nearby base station. To receive and transmit the signals, the device is fitted with an onboard solar cell that is roughly the size of a grain of rice.

Plenty of work is still left as researchers are now honing up additional features like adding an e-ink display along with video stream capabilities. Most of them seem viable, provided future mobile towers and Wi-Fi routers are equipped with base station for transmitting the radio and light signals for powering up a device.

Indeed, we won’t be witnessing the current-gen smartphones being replaced by these battery-free devices due to drawbacks like inability to receive and send audio at the same time. But still, it’s a great ambition which the researchers have embraced, one which could ignite kindred works in the direction.

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