Phone calls are among the most important uses of our phones. Therefore, the feature uses up a big part of your phone battery, especially if you make a lot of calls. However, what if a phone was created that does not use up your battery? How about a phone that can make phone calls without battery? A researcher at Washington University has created a prototype of such a device. If this concept comes to life, it would drastically change the way we use our phones to make calls and perform other tasks.
This prototype was created by Joshua Smith, a researcher at the Washington University’s lab for computer science and electrical engineering. Mr. Smith spent years developing the prototype, which can make phone calls without a physical battery present. According to Mr. Smith, the technology can be developed, and has already begun being worked on, that can draw energy from the surrounding environment and wireless transmission signals, which he names “Backscatter”.
This technology was inspired by ideas of Soviet spies during the Cold War. The spies made use of special bugs, which were powered by specific radio frequencies. These frequencies were also used to transmit data through a mirroring process. Smith and his team figured out how to create a viable base station that could be incorporated into modern cell towers by controlling and optimizing the mirroring process, using modern software. Right now, the team is more focused on communicating through phone calls without battery, though they hope to find a way to make the technology work for other things.
According to reports, the team has already made the first phone call using this technology. However, right now there are a lot of limitations. The sound quality on the device is still quite poor, for example. Also, the device is still analog, which means talking and listening are not possible at the same time. Furthermore, the device does not look anything close to a phone right now. Right now, the research team has high hopes for the device. Hopefully soon the first smartphone to make phone calls without battery will be released.