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Future Tech: 

Acoustic vibrations could actually charge your phone

Background noise could charge your mobile phone!

Background noise could charge your mobile phone!

Renewable and sustainable sources of energy are one of our planet’s most crucial problems – not exactly helped by the millions of smartphones sitting on charge for hours at a time. A group of scientists at the Queen Mary University of London may have come up with a solution.

Their project is based around the idea of turning vibrations – these could be derived by music, cars, atoms or any other source – into electrical energy. The ‘nanogenerator’ is an array of cords that when combined look like a small hairbrush. It can be stretched to harvest vibrations from the environment to turn them into energy.

The researchers are building on previous research made on the subject that showed solar cells increased in efficiency when used alongside acoustic vibrations. In the early stages of this project the results have proved even more fruitful than researchers could have hoped for. The positive results allow an air of optimism about the research, that could potentially see acoustic vibrations stand alone as a trustworthy source of energy.

Leading project researcher Dr. Joe Briscoe commented: “Being able to keep mobile devices working for longer, or do away with batteries completely by tapping into the stray energy that is all around us is an exciting concept. This collaboration was an excellent opportunity to develop alternative device designs using cheap and scalable methods. We hope that we have brought this technology closer to viability.”

The possible development of this idea could be used in areas like advertising or even personal use. In essence, if this comes to full fruition, you could charge your phone by turning up the stereo music in your living room whereas passing trains could generate power for advertising billboards in stations.

Despite still being at early stages, this is definitely a story we should keep our eyes on since a few years down the line this could revolutionise the way we perceive and use energy.

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