A team from the Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul have developed a technology that allows you to charge your phone battery by yelling at it. In theory, a phone battery that is charged via voice waves seems like the perfect infinite and sustainable power source, however there is a potential drawback. A larger battery charge can be achieved the louder you yell at your phone, meaning in theory, public transport could one day be filled with people yelling at their phones in order to charge them.
Dr Sang-Woo Kim, who is leading the team, believes that the technology could not only be used on phones, but also with other personal devices such as iPods and tablets. Speaking to The Daily Mail, Dr. Kim said that the technology works by transforming sound into power – just as speakers transform electric signals into sound.
‘A number of approaches for scavenging energy from environments have been intensively explored. The sound that always exists in our everyday life and environments has been overlooked as a source. This motivated us to realise power generation by turning sound energy from speech, music or noise into electrical power.’
Using calamine lotion sandwiched between two electrodes, a sound absorbing pad is used to create vibrations when sound waves hit it. As the zinc oxide wires compress and release, an electrical current is generated, which in turn charges the battery.
Unfortunately, the prototype can only convert sounds of around 100 decibels, which is the equivalent of a passing train. Seeing as this is not only impractical, but antisocial, to have a technology that only charges by this level of sound, the engineers are working on a material that will allow them to produce more energy at lower sound levels.
via The Daily Mail
Lead image © gailjadehamilton