Those of us who use our phones for more than just the occasional call know that infinite battery life (or even a full days worth) is too good to be true; but is it really?
There are a number of engineers working on a form of wearable charger that will provide energy on the go, but the early models will undoubtedly be cumbersome and lacking in the style department. When conceiving a phone with infinite power, we just need to look towards the gadgets in our everyday lives that already possess infinite battery life.
The most common example of a gadget that never dies is an automatic watch. Automatic watches are able to wind themselves through the natural movement of the wearer’s arm. In this case, a weighted rotor turns on a pivot which is attached to a winding mechanism. The watch can survive for years without ever receiving a traditional charge.
There are also the flashlights that, through electromagnetic induction (a.k.a induction charging), are rechargeable via shaking. Electromagnetic induction works like a lot of ideas do these days, with magnets. A loose magnet in a flashlight or other device moves back and forth through a wire coil, creating a current and birthing electricity. This generated voltage is fed directly into the battery, giving a device a charged boost. The idea of using electromagnetic induction is nothing new, it just was finally conceived in a way that wasn’t too bulky to cooperate with the sleek and slim gadgets we’ve grown accustomed to.
Apple Leading the Charge
Attempting to make up for their battery gaffe of last year, Apple this week was granted a patent for a miniature electromagnetic induction mechanism. It’s no secret that the goal would be implementation of this idea into it’s line of iDevices. The patent documents describe the idea as follows:
“When a user shakes the system or when the user walks or runs while holding the device. The movement of the one or more magnets may create an electromotive force (e.g., a voltage) across the printed coils, and this force may be used to generate electric power.”
This idea has the potential to be a game changer in the mobile device industry. The success of the idea will obviously depend on the amount of voltage that can be harvested through this process. If it’s enough to sustain normal, everyday usage of a phone or tablet, then we have infinite battery life without ever charging the device in the traditional sense of the word. If the concept works as hoped, it’ll be another competitive advantage on a long list of them for Apple.
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