We posted earlier about Nokia’s expertise with antenna but Nokia’s nifty engineers have found another use for their technology besides supporting LTE on T-Mobile.
Using an ultra-wide band antenna which can pick up frequencies from 500 megahertz to 10 gigahertz, from television stations, radio stations and cellphone towers, they are able to use the energy gathered not to pick up data transmissions, but to power the electronics inside a phone.
At present they can harvest 5 milliwatts, with a short-term goal of gathering 20 milliwatts, which is enough power to keep a phone in standby mode indefinitely without having to recharge it.
While not quite enough to make a phone call, it means in-between calls power drain would be virtually non-existent.
Ultimately the team hope to increase this to 50 milliwatts which would be sufficient to slowly recharge the battery, which would mean the end of plugging your phone in.
Markku Rouvala, one of the researchers who developed the device at the Nokia Research Centre in Cambridge, UK, said the wireless charging is not intended as a sole energy source, but rather to be used in conjunction with other energy harvesting technologies, such as handset casings embedded with solar cell materials.
Phones using the technology could be on the market in three to five years.
Read more about the technology at the Technology Review magazine.