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World’s First Battery Free Mobile Phone Built In Washington University

Researchers from the University of Washington have developed a battery-free mobile phone that can make phone calls powered only by radio waves and light.
The prototype created to make and receive calls, and lacks a touchscreen or data connection, but it could be vital in an emergency.


The phone consumes between two and three microwatts of energy and harvests its energy from radio signals sent out by a special base station and a small on board solar cell. The phone can also transmit signals to the station through a combination of reflecting those radio wave signals back and the electromagnetic pulses generated by the vibrations of the phone's diaphragm when speaking into its microphone. It sends a series of digital pulses to a receiver, which encodes it into a Skype call that can be placed to any number.


Device will work, the team first had to eliminate the most power hungry part of a normal mobile phone The conversion of analog audio signals into digital data. According to the post on the University website, this process consumes so much energy that it’s been impossible to design a phone that can rely on ambient power sources.
To get rid of that part of the process, the researchers devised a way to use the tiny vibrations of the phone’s microphone and speaker to encode incoming and outgoing signals. Unfortunately, this doesn’t allow the phone to simultaneously send and receive audio. Instead, the caller has to hold in a send or receive button while sending or receiving similar to how a walkie-talkie functions.

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