From brick-like feature phones that were only good for making calls to smartphones enabled with advanced specifications, technology has surely come a long way.
Nowadays, a major issue faced by manufacturers is how to increase the battery size while keeping the smartphone sleek at the same time. Since people are always hooked to their smartphones, the battery life plays a huge role in the buying decision. Now, what if someone told you that there is a phone that doesn't need a battery? You will probably consider it as a joke.
However, a group of researchers has made the unimaginable possible. Yes, you heard that right. Apparently, they have invented a cellphone that can function without a battery. Instead, the phone gets its required power (a few microwatts) from either light or ambient radio signals.
Furthermore, the team of researchers has even made Skype calls with the battery-free phone. This means the device has the ability to receive and transmit speech and communicate with a base station.
While it is just a prototype now, it won't be long before the phone is ready for mass production. A study published in the journal Proceedings of the Association for Computing Machinery on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies has explained how does the phone function.
"We've built what we believe is the first functioning cellphone that consumes almost zero power," said study co-author Shyam Gollakota, Associate Professor at the University of Washington.
"To achieve the really, really low power consumption that you need to run a phone by harvesting energy from the environment, we had to fundamentally rethink how these devices are designed," Gollakota added.
The battery-free cellphone uses tiny vibrations in a phone's microphone or speaker that occur when a person is talking into a phone or listening to a call. Then the antenna present in those components changes that motion into the standard analog radio signal.