Prediction : Future Phones will not come with chargers

The other day I was out of charge on my phone which is a rare thing considering that I got a new Galaxy Nexus (Yes I will post a review) which is not only energy efficient but by far the best battery I have seen on a portable device taking the phone to nearly 2 days of talking and wifi without the need of charging. Back to where I was,  the need for a charger was large and the charger was no where in sight, shopped around in the office and found a blackberry charger that well fit the phone very well. This got me thinking, well why don’t all manufacturers come up with some universal standard for the charger if required. At all other times they can use alternative means built into the phone itself. I have been writing about some of these here on the blog before. Lets see whats available.

First off the Charger itself 

The mini USB is pretty much a standard charger at the moment for a lot of phones, my Blackberry, the Nexus One and now the Galaxy Nexus all seem to love it. But move Blackberry models and phones, you will quickly see that its not enough its just another in the large market for charger pins. In fact when I got this car charger from Merlin in Dubai, looked like there are a lot more than just the mini USB in the market.

Add the ever popular iPhone and the other Galaxy smartphones and the chargers change. I am not sure if the mini USB is the best standard, but considering that most people seem to have one lying around these days, looks like this could be a good standard to follow.

Getting to the Chargers built in with the phone 

First getting through the familier, here is a list of some you can read within the blog:

Indian Innovation : Wind Powered Helmet mounted Cell phone charger

Indian Innovation : Hand Powered Mobile Phones 

Thermoelectric boots charge your mobile phone

Charging phone from the movement of the owners

Charging Phones with residual energy from airwaves

Charging phones with body heat

Some more from other blogs that can fill up the gap with more innovations

Nokia Bicycle charging kit 

Some Eco friendly charging options (must see) 

Juicebox, the charging platform available in public places

Another Charger using movement of phones 

Mobile phones charged by the power of speech

Wind-powered mobile phone charger

Mobile phones in developing nations could charge up using dirt

Sound Charge t-shirt tops up mobile devices using sound

Solar powered tie charges your mobile phone

Piezoelectric generator creates power from shoes

Interestingly a lot of these were invented by Nokia in an attempt to make the lives of all better, but the lack of good software (ahem .. Android) has kind of made it difficult for Nokia to make it big in the market, we might be able to see some of these innovations in the Mobile Phones running Windows Mobile. Keeping fingers crossed to see the Lumia 900 with one of these built in.

From notifications that require attention of the users towards energy saving and other power saving tips to alerts when Phone batteries are fully charged, the chargers require an upgrade if possible to go with apps that are coming up on phones to do the same on the software side. All in all it seems like a really required innovation that the manufacturers are keeping away from the consumers, even though it seems like they have most of these figured out. Well only time will tell if these innovations will get lost or really get implemented into future phones. Are you listening Google, Apple and ofcourse Nokia.

India Innovation – Rice Husk powered Electricity

I am back praising the country for Innovation, this time its one of my favourite future fields, Alternative sources of Power Generation. A Start up from Bihar has come up with s solution for generating power from Rice Husk. Like they say Necessity is the mother of all invention, and availability is the father. This start Up has taken the problem of Indian farmers i.e no electricity and decided to solve it with the locally available source, Rice Husk.

An Indian company called Husk Power Systems is bringing electricity to some of the most rural parts of India by using rice husks as fuel. Rice husk is a by-product of the rice growing process and is generally dumped into landfills, but by using it to build miniature, off-grid power stations, they generate electricity for around 500 households for 8 to 10 hours a day per each power plant that requires just 3 employees to operate and maintain. The company has set up 25 of these eco-friendly plants till now that serve around 50,000 villagers. Husk Power Systems has received numerous accolades for their miniature power plants including a nomination at the finals of BBC’s World Challenge prize.

Continue reading India Innovation – Rice Husk powered Electricity

Power from you to your gadgets

One of the most important thing that plagues the new society is gadgets of all shapes and sizes. Gadgets, that well require juice in their batteries to work. The problem with batteries would be that charging the batteries would still take some power from the grid. Now if it was the matrix, we could plug our bodies that generate 250 Btu/Hr (while sleeping and 400 Btu/Hr when awake), and convert that to energy to get rid of our dependence from the grid power. Unfortunately, we are not in the matrix and currently most of us still are plugged into the grid to power our devices.

The next revolution in electronics and personal computing would definitely come by with devices that are going to be powered out of something as simple as solar cells on our body, like the helmet that two Indian Engineering students came up with, or using the body heat that we generate or just using kinetic energy that we produce by moving, like the Eco Drive watch range form Citizen which is now getting duplicated by mostly all manufacturers.

Continue reading Power from you to your gadgets

You think Moon … they think Power Plant

“One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” the famous words of Neil Armstrong, when he stepped on the moon, and looks like Countries around the world are taking this whole Giant Leap bit a little too seriously, America, Russia and Japan all are on a race to try and build a moon base by 2020, and of course since building on the moon by humans might be a bit of a task, they have chosen a whole load of robots to actually do this exercise. Japan the latest to join in the race, has already set the ambitious goal of putting robots on the Moon by 2015, and it’s only natural that they should have a place to hang out while they’re up there. The solar-powered base will be constructed by 660-pound robots on the satellite’s south pole, and it’ll serve as a central station for all manner of robot-conducted Moon experiments.

Continue reading You think Moon … they think Power Plant

One ring to rule them all … Wireless Electricity

The future of devices and the future of technology is something that you would see a lot of on this blog. So I am certain that you would ask what is that one technology that might change the future for the good. I have written about it before and had highlighted Power Generation as that one technology.

Today well I will add to it, and say Power Generation and Power Transmission. Why transmission, Well Wireless Electricity is here. What I saw today is a revolutionary innovation in technology front. I must say it will change the course of future for human race. Its called WiTricity. As the name suggest, its Wireless Electricity. WiTricity Power is about ransferring electric energy or power over distance without wires. The new system exploits simple physics principles and can be used to charge a range of electronic devices over several meters. One of the first devices to implement this technology is the Palm Pre and its touchstone charger. It still implements charging with touch. But in the future as the technology spills into mainstream devices we will see more interesting implementation.  Here is their presentation at TED.

It has been more than 100 years since this technology was initially discovered. Researchers attribute the delay to develop the technology to limitations of well-known physical laws and a simple lack of need. Only recently have modern consumers obtained a high number of portable electronic devices which currently require batteries and plug-in chargers. Pioneered by the principles of one of the greatest Modern Minds in Physics Nicola Tesla. Can you imagine where we would use these things ??

Consumer Electronics

  • Automatic wireless charging of mobile electronics (phones, laptops, game controllers, etc.) in home, car, office, Wi-Fi hotspots … while devices are in use and mobile.
  • Direct wireless powering of stationary devices (flat screen TV’s, digital picture frames, home theater accessories, wireless loud speakers, etc.) … eliminating expensive custom wiring, unsightly cables and “wall-wart” power supplies.
  • Direct wireless powering of desktop PC peripherals: wireless mouse, keyboard, printer, speakers, display, etc… eliminating disposable batteries and awkward cabling.

Industrial

  • Wireless power and communication interconnections across rotating and moving “joints” (robots, packaging machinery, assembly machinery, machine tools) … eliminating costly and failure-prone wiring.
  • Wireless power and communication interconnections at points of use in harsh environments (drilling, mining, underwater, etc.) … where it is impractical or impossible to run wires.
  • Wireless power for wireless sensors and actuators, eliminating the need for expensive power wiring or battery replacement and disposal.
  • Automatic wireless charging for mobile robots, automatic guided vehicles, cordless tools and instruments…eliminating complex docking mechanisms, and labor intensive manual recharging and battery replacement.

Transportation

  • Wireless charging for existing electric vehicle classes: golf carts, industrial vehicles.
  • Wireless charging for future hybrid and all-electric passenger and commercial vehicles, at home, in parking garages, at fleet depots, and at remote kiosks.
  • Wireless power interconnections to replace costly vehicle wiring harnesses and slip rings.

Some Other Applications

  • Wireless power interconnections and automatic wireless charging for implantable medical devices (ventricular assist devices, pacemaker, defibrilator, etc.).
  • Wireless charging and for high tech military systems (battery powered mobile devices, covert sensors, unmanned mobile robots and aircraft, etc.).
  • Wireless powering and automatic wireless charging of smart cards.
  • Wireless powering and automatic wireless charging of consumer appliances, mobile robots, etc.

Coupled with another technology

Scientists at the Imperial College London’s Department of Aeronautics say they have created a plastic that can store and release electricity, revolutionising the way we use phones and drive cars. It means the cases of mobiles and iPods could soon double up as their power source — leading to gadgets as thin as credit cards. The technology could also lead to flexible computer screens that can be folded up and carried around. The material is not really a battery, but a super capacitor — similar to those found in typical electrical circuits. Even the car of the future could be drawing power from its roof or the door, thanks to the new material.

Now that is a place I want to live in, Really looking forward to the plastic storing electricity and wirelessly charging itself . Beam me up Scotty 😉