Battery life remains a major issue for smartphones, especially 4G smartphones, but new technology being worked on at RMIT in Australia could turn your next email or text message into power for your phone.
Research has already figured out a means of turning mechanical pressure, like a button press, into electricity. This is achieved with a thin peizoelectric film that turns pressure into energy.
Lead co-author Dr Madhu Bhaskaran tells TG Daily that, “The power of piezoelectrics could be integrated into running shoes to charge mobile phones, enable laptops to be powered through typing or even used to convert blood pressure into a power source for pacemakers – essentially creating an everlasting battery.”
The thin piezoelectric film could be integrated into the next iPhone or Android smartphone, and every time you tap the screen to type an email or play a game of Angry Birds you could be charging your device. Reportedly this film could be integrated into the screen of the phone, so you won’t be stuck with a hard keyboard if you want tap-to-charge functionality.
We could also see this technology built into notebooks, which would also charge as you type. We’d love to see it teamed up with the sun on this solar powered netbook.
Unfortunately, the technology isn’t ready for prime-time yet. Currently researchers are only able to produce a tenth of the power needed to make this solution commercially viable. The good news is that improving the technology isn’t difficult, just time-consuming.