The more you talk on your cell phone, the faster your battery runs down - right? Imagine talking into your mobile device with the opposite effect - charging the battery! An engineer in South Korea, Dr. Sang-Woo Kim of Sungkyunkwon University, has developed new technology that converts the noise into electricity.
So far, it still takes too much to create enough of a battery charge. But Dr. Kim claims the technology is very promising and it could be viable in the future.
Battery life remains one of the greatest challenges to advancing technology in terms of keeping it light, keeping it cool and keeping it running without a wire.
While hardware designers wait for a new breakthrough in battery technology that addresses all three, some are turning to what is called "energy scavenging" options - like Dr. Kim's voice to electricity option. Nokia meantime has a patent on technology that charges devices with the user's body movements - similar to self-winding watches. There is also experimental technology out there that uses the human heartbeat to charge mp3 players.
In case you're wondering, Dr. Kim's team reports that their technology would also recharge batteries with noise other than the human voice - like background noise or music. That's good news for those that never get a word in edgewise.