We’ve seen the Shake-Weight become a huge infomercial success, either as a gag gift or for actual exercise. But what if there was a more practical use for shaking something repetitively? Well, a few scientists created a cell phone charger to solve such a predicament.
It was a team of researchers at Virginia Tech, led by Shashank Priya, that created an emergency charging device that is powered by the movement of your phone. It uses what is called piezoelectric force to create this energy, and this force can be caused by typing on the phone’s keyboard, speaking into the phone, and (more efficiently) shaking it like a polaroid picture.
Their prototype device is made of a common piezoelectric material, zinc oxide. The pseudo-phone was then subjected to 100 decibels of sound waves and generated about 50 millivolts from the vibrations caused by the sound. This is not a great amount of energy but it just might be enough to send out a distress signal/text if trapped in the middle of nowhere with no other form of energy to be seen.
Have you seen any other clever ways to charge your mobile electronics, either by kinetic, solar, or wind energy? Let us know what you think of this great innovation in the comments.