Recharging an old cell phone can be a major pain for many people, but a technological breakthrough might just make it possible for people to recharge their cell phones – simply by talking to it. The astonishing new technology, being developed by researchers in South Korea, could see just the sound of a person’s voice being enough to power up a depleted cell phone.
“Sound power can be used for various novel applications including cellular phones that can be charged during conversations,” says Dr Sang-Woo Kim from the Institute of Nanotechnology at Sungkyunkwan University, which is situated in the city of Seoul in South Korea. Kim and his fellow researchers have told the Daily Telegraph in the United Kingdom that they have developed a way to turn simple sound into electrical energy. The implications are astounding.
As well as suggesting that houses which are unfortunate enough to be situated near busy highways could soon be installing “sound insulating walls near highways that generate electricity from the sound of passing vehicles”, Kim notes that the sound recharging cell phone need not even be in use to be recharging, with simple background noise in its local environment possibly being enough to do the job. While Kim admits that the cell phone idea is still some way off, the success that he and his team have had has convinced him that “We believe that we can realize more efficient sound driven nanogenerators”.