What if your smartphone case was even more amazing than your smartphone?
We are so dependent on our smartphones that the thought of them going dead is nothing short of cringe-worthy. But did you know that your smartphone loses the majority of its energy while you’re not even using it? In fact, 90 percent of your phone’s energy is lost by your phone transmitting radio signals in order to find a connection. That’s why Nikola Labs is trying to put that energy to good use, to recharge your phone. The company’s new smartphone case charges from the air.
The company has come up with a new smartphone case that charges your phone from the energy ambient energy in the air. The new smartphone case we’ll be launched via Kickstarter next month. You’ll be able to purchase the smartphone case for $99. The technology, which was developed at Ohio State University, works by converting ambient radio frequencies into power, increasing your phone’s charge by some 30 percent.
According to Science Alert:
The Nikola Lab device has an antenna that picks up the ambient waves. It then uses what’s known as a rectifier circuit to convert the alternating current into a direct current, which it puts back into the phone. “It’s actually working off the energy of the phone itself,” inventor Will Zell says.
The smartphone case is entirely portable, meaning it picks up energy using embedded sensors converting energy from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and the LTE signals for 4G connections. According to Sky News, the charging process works continually while the case is on your phone.
Just like solar-powered chargers are similarly off grid, you don’t need to plug into the wall. Other thoughtful off grid chargers include smartphones with solar panels built right into the phone. The new smartphone component captures sunlight using Wysips Crystal, which can be installed into the touchscreen panel of your phone. The technology isn’t as strong as plugging your phone into the wall, but if you’re in a bind, it certainly comes in handy. The technology can generate 2.5 milliwatts of power per square centimeter in “typical sunlight conditions”. That means that about 10 minutes of exposure could generate 100 minutes of standby use.
This is the ideal technology if you plan to be off-grid for any period of time. Though it’s unclear whether the case is able to produce the same quality of charge that’s you get when you plug your phone into the wall. Now, all you have to worry about when you’re trudging through sub-Saharan Africa or scoping through ice caps of Antarica, is finding a signal that works in the first place.
How do you charge your cell phone when you’re in a bind? What’s your favorite off-grid charging device or are you fine with be disconnected for a while? How addicted to your smartphone are you?
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Image of a smartphone from Shuttershock