University of Washington engineers have created a cell phone capable of making calls by drawing on light or ambient radio signals, and it could be the first functioning handset that consumes almost zero power. Technically speaking, it harvests power from RF signals coming from a base station around 31 feet away, or from light using a minute solar cell. Currently, the team designed their own base station to receive and transmit radio signals, but in the future, this technology could be embedded in cell towers or Wi-Fi routers. Continue reading for another video and more information.
“The cellphone prototype is able to run on such low power in part because the team got rid of the step to convert analog signals into digital data – a process that sucks up a lot of power in modern cellphones. Their battery-free phone can make use of small vibrations from the speaker or microphone that come when a person is talking or listening while making a call,” reports Inhabitat.