UH Prof May Have Created The Self-Charging Cell Phone

One day, maybe soon, you'll charge your cell phone just by walking around with it -- thanks to a UH professor.

Pradeep Sharma and an A&M professor named Tahir Cagin think they've solved a problem that's long vexed researchers. It involves a lot of mumbo-jumbo of the sort that scientists like to use, but essentially, through the wonders of nano-technology, the pair have greatly increased the efficiency of a gizmo that generates electricity through movement.

Sharma tells Hair Balls you will be recharging your phone just by walking with it, moving it, or even having it in your car.

"The vibrations of the car will generate the electricity needed," he says.

The idea of using "mechanical motion" to generate electricity in hand-held items has been around for a while, he says.

Soldiers, for one thing, now carry a lot of electronic stuff, and reducing the weight of the batteries needed would be a boon. Researchers have been trying to figure out how to plant devices in their boots, say, that would generate electricity to recharge the gadgets.

Sharma and Cagin have found a way to increase the efficiency of such ddevices "by 400 or 500 times larger than it is now," he says.

He's got further grants to develop the project, so the idea could become a common reality in a few years, he says.

Self-charging cell phones -- now some people will never be off the things.

-- Richard Connelly

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