Phone Dying? Yell At It! New Tech Charges Devices With Voice

| May 9, 2011 | Reply

This could go down as an awesome invention or a horrible one - I’m leaning towards the latter…

Dr. Sang-Woo Kim of Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea has invented a gadget that will allow mobile phones to be recharged by simply talking into them. The technology turns sound into electricity, allowing a mobile to be powered up while a conversation is in progress – and the greater the volume the greater the charge.

Dr Kim’s device uses tiny strands of zinc oxide – the main ingredient of calamine lotion – sandwiched between two electrodes.

A sound-absorbing pad on top vibrates when sound waves hit it, causing the tiny zinc oxide wires to compress and release. This generates electrical current that can then be used to charge a battery.

Devices made so far can convert sounds of around 100 decibels – the equivalent of noisy traffic, a passing train or a nearby lawnmower – into a mild electrical current. While this is not yet enough to charge a phone properly, the engineers are hopeful that altering the material the wires are made from will allow them to produce more energy at lower sound levels.

I already have a problem with the loud cell phone talkers out there, I couldn’t imagine if they got their hands on something like this!

Meanwhile, U.S. scientists are working on a gadget that converts the movement of the knees while walking into electricity. The knee brace harvests energy generated when someone bends their knee to take a step. Now that sounds way more tolerable to me, although I’m not so sure that I want to wear a knee brace to charge my phone.


Source: DailyMail


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Category: Tech News

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Co-owner and PR guy for I’m happily married and a father to a wonderful (most of the time) son. I work in the E9-1-1 software/data industry by day and am a tech loving geek in my spare time. I’m interested in all things tech, but am big into Android especially. I dabble in a little of everything – Android development, PC development, web development, etc – but am a master of none (not even close)… But I have fun doing it anyway! =P