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UW researchers develop mobile phones without batteries

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Tinuku ~ Researchers at the University of Washington create phones without batteries. A prototype phone without battery contains a circuit connected with earphones and consumes 3.5 microwatt power from solar cells smaller than a grain of rice. These cells collect light and radio signals to be converted into electrical power to run microphones and speakers using small vibrations to change signals.

Tinuku UW researchers develop mobile phones without batteries

The first mobile phone without battery works by harvesting energy from radio signals or ambient light. The research team also made Skype calls to show prototypes made from commercial components that can receive and transmit speech and communicate with base stations.

"We have built what we believe to be the first phone to consume zero power," said Shyam Gollakota, an associate professor at the University of Washington.

The phone is just a capacitive touch button to dial phone numbers and can not send and receive sound simultaneously. But the prototype will continue to be developed, such as adding screen links into the phone and encryption to add security.

Vibration by microphone is used to encode speech patterns on the reflected signal. This prototype capable of performing basic phone functions is transmitting speech, data and accepting user input via button. The researchers receive an incoming call and contact the other person.

The team designed a special base station to transmit and receive radio signals. The technology can be integrated into a standard cellular network infrastructure or Wi-Fi router that is now commonly used to make calls.

"In the future, transmitter towers or Wi-Fi routers can be a source of mobile power without batteries," said Vamsi Talla.


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