I guess this is an idea that is a long time in coming – harnessing the power of kinetic energy in order to juice up one’s gadgets, which is pretty useful especially when you are in an emergency situation and all power supplies around you are out of order. Shashank Priya and his colleagues at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg are working on a new kind of emergency onboard charger which will collect energy from the piezoelectric force that is generated by your fingertips which click on the keypad of the handset, although a vigorous shake of the entire phone will also suffice. Considering how most folks have already moved on to a full screen smartphone these days, it makes perfect sense to stick to the latter.
By mounting a sheet of piezoelectric polymer that is known as PCT under the keys in a cellphone, one can monitor the efficiency of vibration conversion from pressure waves into energy in order to deliver juice to the handset. Such an experiment saw around 10 microwatts of electricity generated, which isn’t enough to power a phone continuously, but should be sufficient in the event of an emergency situation. Will we see this technology implemented in future smartphones? Only time will tell.
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