Self-charging handsets? Not science fiction, claims Nokia

Forget all this talk about standardised chargers for mobile phones or the idea of battery charging mats, Nokia researchers claim that ambient radio waves can be enough to charge the handset of the future.

According to Nokia R&D engineers, they want the technology to harvest around 50 milliwatts of power from TV masts, Wi-Fi transmitters so as to keep the handset alive in standby mode - which consumes around 20 milliwatts, leaving 30 milliwatts to trickle-charge the device's battery. However, Nokia admits that its prototype design is only able to capture up to 5 milliwatts at present but remains confident that it could reach 50 milliwatts in three to five years.

Despite the clear barriers to the technology, it has at least been proven as a concept in the increasing uses of passive RFID tags, which harvest radio waves and convert them to enough energy to transmit their own unique code.

Interestingly, no mention was made by Nokia whether transmissions from cellular masts could be used to charge handsets, but perhaps operators would then charge for this ‘service'.

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