Every now and then something new comes along that changes everything, from the way we think to the way we work, even the way we play.
Nokia has developed a prototype charging system that is able to power itself on nothing more than ambient radiowaves. In other words, deriving energy from the TV, radio and mobile phone signals that permanently surround us.
The power harvested is small but it is almost enough to power a mobile phone in standby mode indefinitely without ever needing to plug into a power source. That according to Markku Rouvala, one of the researchers who developed the device at the Nokia Research Centre in Cambridge, UK.
The idea and the technology itself is not exactly new, but Nokia claims it has greatly improved upon it. Instead of just harvesting tiny bits of energy as in previous cases, Nokia said it will be able harvest thousands of times more energy, even from radio signals coming from miles away. While the energy available from each signal is miniscule, Nokia has managed to harvest the energy from many signals at the same time and across a wide range of frequencies.
So far Nokia has been able to harvest up to 5 milliwatts. The short-term goal is to get in excess of 20 milliwatts, enough to keep a phone in standby mode indefinitely without having to recharge it. Eventually the goal is the be able to harvest up to 50 milliwatts, which would be sufficient to slowly recharge the battery.
Obviously the importance of such technology for Nokia is paramount. If Nokia is ever able to make a device that can stay in standby mode indefinitely, it will of course have an edge against every other competitor in the world. Something like this will definitely give Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) WP8 an edge and a reason for Microsoft to gain leaps in marketshare.
But why stop there. Imagine if this technology in the future can also power tablets and other devices. The possibilities are endless. Finally, imagine Nokia licensing this technology and milking every major device manufacturer on the planet.
The news of this article was all over the internet today on many mediums, including MSN. If one Googles the original article title, he will see that Google states the article was published about 10 hours ago (as of this writing). However, the Guardian article is dated 2009. So I don't know if this article was entered with a wrong date by the Guardian, or if for some reason it was rebroadcast by everyone on the planet by accident. Because if this is simply an older article, it might mean that Nokia's plans for this technology didn't work out.