Is your phone losing power? Take a walk with it.
Georgia Tech researchers have built a device that charges your phone based on your body movement. The four layer disc puts everything into place: the rotating top layer, made of copper, sends out positive charges past the negative charges in the second layer, which is a stationary polymer. This creates an imbalance of charges in the third layer, the gold layer, causing a current to flow when a wire is connected between sectors. The last layer, made of acrylic, holds the contraption together.
Project leader Zhong Lin Wang says the device will generate power as long as something causes it to rotate, which is why this is being dubbed the “walking charger” – it works just like static electricity. So, for example, if you’re wearing a wool scarf and it’s constantly rubbing against your hair, your body is building up electrons. Touch something metal and BOOM! you’ll get a shock. It’s this kind of shock that will keep the copper rotating and thus your phone charging.
Wang says the device is 50 times more efficient than a typical generator, particularly for its size, and at four inches across it generates around 5 volts of power, which is enough to charge an iPhone. And size matters, as potential consumers will be attracted to the shape of the device, no longer having to worry about added bulkiness and weight from power cords. With more and more technology being used in the classroom, this sort of device can be something that could be useful to educator and student alike, especially on field trips and excursions.
No word of when, or if, this device will be released to the general public.