The First Battery-Free Cellular Phone

A group of engineers and researchers from the University of Washington (UW) recently invented a cellular phone that does not need a battery to operate. These people were able to produce the first battery-free cellular phone that only use microwatts power from an ambient of light or radio signals.

This latest invented device will certainly advance our technology in terms of producing mobile or cell phone that can overcome the issue of having dead or low battery. Based on the shared information from the reliable sources online, it is important to use the device near the base station to make it function effectively. On the other hand, it does not need a typical station tower to get signal and this is a bright development in the coming years that can greatly benefit the industry of telecommunication.

From the shared news report through, the responsible researchers and engineers revealed that the battery-free cell phone they invented can function as a normal mobile phone when sending and receiving calls. The only different is that it does not rely on using a normal or built-in battery.

“We’ve built what we believe is the first functioning cellphone that consumes almost zero power,” said Shyam Gollakota. “To achieve the really, really low power consumption that you need to run a phone by harvesting energy from the environment, we had to fundamentally rethink how these devices are designed,” he added.

Gollakota is a current associate professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington and the co-author of the published report in the Proceeding of the Association for Computing Machinery on Interactive, Mobile Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies, as detailed by the news.

According to Vamsi Talla, one can just imagine that cellular towers or even WIFI routers may originate from their base station with the latest embedded technology in the coming years. He added that each house with WIFI router can benefit from using a non-battery cell phone with better coverage.

Talla is part of the group that invented the first battery-free cell phone device.

Perhaps one of the most intriguing developments that the group completed is that they were able to find a solution in the extreme battery consumption of most available cell phone transmission. The battery-free device they invented can generate power through signals and ambient resources; thus, making it functional similar to a normal mobile phone.

The idea of the group seems impossible to achieve by operating a cell phone without a battery. However, they successfully develop the unit that relies on a few power resources and features a microphone or speaker that create minor vibrations when the user talks or listens to the caller.

According to the shared information through, this first non-battery operated cell phone followed the backscatter principles as stated by the team as well as an inspiration of a Cold War incident when the USSR managed to bug a carving of the United States Great Seal using a non-battery listening gadget. Later on, they presented such gadget as a gift to the Ambassador of the US in Moscow.

In addition to this development, the group used the cell phone using Skype in receiving incoming phone calls, contacting other device as well as holding the callers without the need of a typical battery.

“The cellphone is the device we depend on most today.  So if there were one device you’d want to be able to use without batteries, it is the cellphone,” Joshua Smith stated as quoted by “The proof of concept we’ve developed is exciting today, and we think it could impact everyday devices in the future,” he added.

Smith is a professor in both the Allen School and Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington.


Credit image: Wired



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