Talk-Powered Cell Phones on the Horizon

in Science & Tech by

Revolutionary research by Korean scientists might give the world its next source of conveniently obtainable energy source – chatty teenagers.

Recent years have seen a staggering advancement of scientific methods that enable electricity to be generated out of piezoelectric devices. Experimental prototypes that generate power as we walk or run are already being tested.

However, most of these new technological breakthroughs are still under thorough research and not yet released to the mass consumer market.

Young Jun Park and Sang-Woo Kim, authors of the new article in the journal Advanced Materials, stated “Just as speakers transform electric signals into sound, the opposite process — of turning sound into a source of electrical power — is possible.”

The scientists further added “Sound power can be used for various novel applications including mobile phones that can be charged during conversations and sound-insulating walls near highways that generate electricity from the sound of passing vehicles.”

The authors of the journal article managed to harness the power of sound waves by creating a field of nanowires sandwiched between 2 electrodes. They then proceeded to blast the sandwich with sound waves at 100 decibels and 50 millivolts were subsequently generated.

Michael McAlphin, a scientist at Princeton University, commented “But the real question though is whether there is enough ambient noise to act as a power source as for a cell phone. A consumer probably wouldn’t want to attend a rock concert or stand next to a passing train to charge their cell phone.”

An average cell phone requires only a few volts to operate, but even that amount of energy is several times more than what this technology can currently produce.

Nonetheless, scientists see this as a major advancement in this field and further increases in output will be very possible in future.


Photo source: wikipedia