micro-windmillsThese days there are a couple of different ways in which we can charge our smartphones. This can be done through conventional methods, such as plugging it into a power outlet, or it can be done through “greener” methods such as solar charging or using kinetic energy, like cycling, for example. However a couple of researchers at the University of Texas Arlington, Smitha Rao and J.C. Chiao, have come up with an even cooler concept (literally) that you might use in the future to help charge your devices, and that is through the use of minuscule windmills that are apparently so tiny that you could fit about 10 of them on a grain of rice itself, meaning that it is also small enough where you could embed it into a phone, hold it up to a fan or just walk with it that it could potentially juice up your device.

However effective it will be at charging your phone remains to be seen, but it is definitely an interesting idea. According to the researchers who created it, the windmills are made of a durable nickel alloy so you don’t have to worry about the blades breaking off due to strong winds. There’s no telling what other applications are there for such technology, but as it stands a Taiwanese company has managed to gain exclusive rights to the technology and are exploring different ways of commercializing the concept. One suggestion by the researchers include, “Flat panels with thousand of windmills could be made and mounted on the walls of houses or building to harvest energy for lighting, security or environmental sensing and wireless communication.” Pretty cool, huh?

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