Nokia is working on the cell phone of the future – one that won’t need recharging. The Nokia Research Centre in Cambridge, UK is designing a prototype that harnesses ambient radio waves (aka electromagnetic radiation from antennas, TV masts, WiFi transmitters).
This new tech will convert electromagnetic waves into electric signals which it harnesses for power. A current prototype can grab 3 to 5 milliwatts of electricity,although it seems you need 50 milliwatts to recharge a real life cell phone.
Pulling radio waves out of the air to power a cell phone – now that’s sci-fi in action!
The Nokia device will work on the same principles as a crystal radio set or radio frequency identification (RFID) tag: by converting electromagnetic waves into an electrical signal. This requires two passive circuits. “Even if you are only getting microwatts, you can still harvest energy, provided your circuit is not using more power than it’s receiving,” Rouvala says.