Sound-Charging Cellphone Could Let Your Power Your Phone By Talking

Dead Phone? New Tech Could Let You Charge It By Yelling

In the future, you could charge your cell phone just by chatting.

Researchers at South Korea's Sungkyunkwan University have developed a new technology that converts soundwaves into electrical energy, The Telegraph reports. With the sound-harvesting tech, batteries could be charged by everything from the human voice and music to the sound of highway traffic.

Researcher Dr. Sang-Woo Kim said, "The sound that always exists in our everyday life and environments has been overlooked as a source. This motivated us to realise power generation by turning sound energy from speech, music or noise into electrical power."

Currently, the researchers have created a prototype that converts sounds around 100 decibels (think: noisy traffic) to 50 millivolts of electricity. Here's how it works: a pad absorbs sound waves and causes zinc oxide wires mounted between electrodes to compress and release, creating an electrical current that can be used to charge a battery.

Fifty millivolts isn't enough to charge a mobile phone, but Dr. Kim said that the technology could be improved by using different materials. Fortunately, the current prototypes create enough energy to be usable in small, low-power sensors and implantable devices.

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