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Friday, 5 December 2008

Future Phones To Run On SOUND

future phones to run on SOUNDMobile phones that NEVER need charging - future phones to run on SOUND, It’s been a while since we had any properly mental concepts on this blog, and no, the 01Phone doesn’t count, because it’s just a mobile phone, albeit a hyper-advanced concept. I mean the proper, hardcore sci-fi stuff like harnesses to control your phone with your mind, or a mobile phone that fits in a contact lens, or a whole bendy nanotech mobile phone.

Well, we go back to the world of nanotechnology today, thanks to a story on Tech Radar. And it’s a good’n, this, as it’s about mobile phones that don’t need to be plugged in and charged up. EVER. Oh, and not only does it not need charging, but this portable, handheld, electric device doesn’t need a replaceable battery either…

Hmm, no matter how awesome the Nokia N97 is, it can’t do that!

Right about now, you’re probably asking yourself how an electrical device can work without a battery to actually give it electricity. Well, like I said earlier, nanotechnology, and materials called ‘piezoelectrics’, which can be best described as ‘not as scarily complicated as they sound’. Imagine you have a Malteser (go with me on this), but when you stamp on it, instead of it falling to bits, it stays together, but produces electricity. Materials that do that, usually ceramics or crystals, are piezoelectric materials, and they’ve been known about for decades. So, why has the idea of mobile phones without batteries only popped up now?

Because scientists have found out that piezoelectrics, when they hit a very, very, very small size (no, much smaller that that), they double the amount of electricity they produce, that’s why. We’re talking reeeeeeeeeeeally small here, about 4000 times thinner than a human hair, well into the realms of nanomachines, and Star Trek, and Stargate SG1, and gawd knows how many sci-fi shows that I’ve seen over the years. And probably a few comics. And at least one novel.

Anyway, at such a small size, those nano-particle-machine-battery-things are also much more sensitive to being prodded and stressed than bigger piezoelectrics, which means they can be made to generate power with less pressure. And that means, that in the future, IF they can make it work, and IF it doesn’t as much as a manned mission to Mars, we will see mobile phones that get power from sound. You talk, your phone gets power, simple as that.

So, far from draining your battery (if you’re an incessant natterer) as they do today, mobile phones of the future will get more powerful as you talk more. It’ll be awesome, but the condition is that the boffins working on this have to make sure the piezoelectric, sound-powered nanomachines don’t take over the world, and enslave us all, which is the recognised and official destiny of all sci-fi machines. And then, their lives could be powered by the sound of them crushing their frail human victims.

Never mind Asimov’s 3 Laws, what we need for these beasties is earplugs…

Do you want a mobile phone that’s as powerful as Skynet, but that won’t enslave humanity? Sign up for alerts and we’ll email you when the Nokia N97 is released

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