London researchers are working on a way to charge your phone with sound waves, so you won’t ever have to be one of those wall-huggers again. According to Science Alert, when zinc oxide nanowires are subjected to stress, they produce an electric current. This “piezoelectric effect” was first discovered by Korean researchers, who found that the nanowires respond to sound waves.
That’s when British researchers picked up the project. After spraying liquid zinc oxide onto a plastic sheet, the British researchers pressed the sheet between two electrical contact sheets, and installed the mechanism in a mobile phone.
When music, voices, and traffic noise were exposed to the phone, the mechanism generated 5 volts of electricity. That’s plenty of electricity to charge your smartphone, folks.
“Being able to keep mobile devices working for longer, or do away with batteries completely by tapping into the stray energy that is all around us is an exciting concept,” British engineer Joe Briscoe told PhysOrg. “We hope that we have brought this technology closer to viability.”