A Battery-Free Cell Phone

Most of us in tech have at one point or another has had thoughts about a battery-free cell phone.

For that matter, most of the consumers have, as well.

After all, most of us nowadays own a battery pack, which proves how hungry our devices are for power.

But put the gadgets aside, and you can, in fact, make a device that requires no battery.

What the device makes use of is radio waves, which we already use for communication.

Still developing it, the researchers were able to make a call between the device and an Android phone.

The technology, however, is not completely new.

It is a simplified version they call passive wi-fi, used previously to power gadgets requiring a tiny amount of electricity.

One such example where it is used is singing posters.

The team, however, faced certain issues – when converting analog human speech to a digital signal, a lot of power is consumed.

In order to be more power efficient, the team had to reinvent a technology last used back in the days of the Cold War – analog backscatter tech implemented in spy kits.

Besides the analog voice transmission, the battery-free device sends number inputs as digital signals.

The signal is transferred to a base station which uses Skype to connect to the digital cellular network.

This base station doesn’t only progress the signal, but it also provides power to the device.


Battery-Free Cell Phone Digital Analog

Currently, the station supports a maximum range of about 15 meters.

However, real cell towers have hundred times more power which could increase the range of the battery-free cell phone up to a kilometer.

Although the technology is under development, and the researchers are looking into implementing additional features, it is a sure step towards a more sustainable future.


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