Technology

Researchers created a phone that works without battery

EPA / MAURITZ ANTIN

Researchers from the University of Washington have created a phone that works without battery. The team took inspiration from a Cold Was spying device which used radio waves to power itself.
The battery-free phone was successfully tested using Skype, making a call and communicating without any battery but with some static and pops.
“My dad was a spy in the Cold War, so I heard stories about the Great Seal bug when I was a kid,” researcher Joshua Smith told Wired. The Great Seal bug was the secret listening device hidden in a US seal and it used passive techniques to transmit an audio signal.
Smith and his colleagues used this concept to create a battery-free phone that uses micro-watts harvested from radio frequencies transmitted by a base station. The phone also uses ambient light in generating power.

The use of the base station is the one restriction the technology is facing, since the device has to be within 9.4 meters of the one to harvest frequencies. To develop the technology commercially similar stations would need to be incorporated into Wi-Fi routers and traditional phone towers.
“This we believe is a major leap in the capability of battery-free devices and a step towards a fully functional battery-free cellphone,” the team said in a statement.

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