kinetic energy to charge battery?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by psywzrd, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. psywzrd macrumors 68030

    Feb 6, 2008
    This may be totally off the wall but is there any way Apple could come up with a way to use kinetic energy to charge the iphone's battery? I know it would probably be very minimal, but every lit bit counts and most of us are constantly moving around anyway. There's already an accelerometer in there so it seems plausible, right?
  2. sanPietro98 macrumors 6502a


    May 30, 2008
    This works for wrist watches, but you won't get enough power for an iPhone though.
  3. MadGoat macrumors 65816


    Jul 30, 2007
    what's if it's just enough to keep a charge while it's idle in your pocket.:)
  4. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

    Feb 6, 2008
    I'm just talking about kind of a trickle charge. I know watches don't require a ton of power but that doesn't mean there isn't technology that can provide more power using kinetic energy. Whatever you can get out of it is better than nothing.
  5. domness macrumors 6502a


    Jan 14, 2008
    Sheffield, UK
    The acceleromter is just a sensor, it needs a dynamo and all of that for it to try and work.

    The other 'reasonable' way of getting other energy is with small solar panels..

    I know this maybe a little off topic, but if you need extra charge for your iPhone.. I know there was a battery plug in which plugged into the socket of an iPod where a battery was.. I'm not sure if the same device could be used for the iPhone.. But it's a thought.
  6. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    The O.P. isn't crazy. I suspect we'll see this sort of thing in another 3-5 years.

    Once the other phone components shrink in size, they'll have more room in the phone. They can't make the phone too much smaller, the touch screen dictates the size of the phone. *

    Thus, they'll eventually end up with wasted space inside that they can put new technologies in.

    This is certainly one I'm sure they're looking at. No, it won't charge the phone, but it could turn 8 hours of standby time remaining into 10 hours of standby time remaining, just by having it in your pocket while you walk around.

    That'd be worth having, once they have the space to put it in.

    * (Even "thinner" has its limit. I don't think you can go thinner than the iPod touch without it becoming difficult to hold and use the phone without it slipping through your fingers. I think the current Touch is about as thin as you'd want it.)
  7. cellocello macrumors 68000


    Jul 31, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    Wait. Is this yet ANOTHER feature the iPhone SHOULD have but DOESN'T?! The iPhone sucks man. ;)

    But seriously .. I had a watch with this feature, and this would be amazing in a product like the iPhone.
  8. spamdumpster macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2008
    This google search suggests that generating power from the movement of the human body (or certain parts thereof) is not as crazy as one might think.
  9. cellocello macrumors 68000


    Jul 31, 2008
    Toronto, ON
    I agree.

    In fact, I think that the size and shape of the iPhone are specifically better than those of the Touch.
  10. psywzrd thread starter macrumors 68030

    Feb 6, 2008

    I believe you may be talking about something like this:

    Anyway, I hear kinetic charging is coming with the 2.2 firmware;).
  11. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    I've had an iPhone since July, so I'm pretty used to it.

    My wife got a Touch last week and I keep coming close to dropping it. At first, I thought I just wasn't used to it because it was different. But I'm coming to the conclusion that, no, it's just a little too thin.

    I think something between the phone and the iPod would be just about perfect. I would like to see the iPhone get thinner, but not quite that much!
  12. reliantj macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2008
    ooo what about a portfolio case with a flexible solar cell and battery?
    or what about thermal energy from the body?
    or a dynamo connected to a bicycle for easy charging while riding?
    or what about a windmill/fan wind collector that sat on top of your car?
  13. pj rage macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2008
  14. localoid macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2007
    America's Third World
    Turn those old solar powered garden lights into a solar powered USB changer (video). :p
  15. _Refurbished_ macrumors 68000


    Mar 23, 2007
    Personally, I think with all the development going on in batteryland, we will see 12 - 24 hour battery life in the next 5 years on the iPhone. I believe there will be a revolution in battery technology quicker than we think. Lots of good developments out there. Once the iPhone goes LED.......woot!

    Anyone see the HP laptop being released this year that offers TWENTY FOUR hours of continuous use without a recharge? Amazing.
  16. hotshotharry macrumors 6502

    Sep 6, 2007
    I would suspect the accelerometer requires power in order to give signals to the cpu, there for more shaking would potentially drain the battery faster lol

    What you would need is something like this

    they have a magnet that passes through a coil of wire to produce electrical current which you could then use to charge the iphone, the watches would have something similar.

    However this not practical at this point. You must realize that the iphone uses some where around 300 milliamps per hour ( just a guess as 1A will charge in about 2 hours, ie prolly about a 1800mah battery, which would be 1800/5 typical usage hours, =360ma/hr which is about 1.8 watts.

    thats fairly high power to get from just being in your pocket. Perhaps you could shake the crap out of it after you fitted a forever flashlight unit to it haha
  17. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    Or a attachment that has a winding handle, like the original concept for the OLPC! :D
  18. hotshotharry macrumors 6502

    Sep 6, 2007
    LOL maybe you could get one of those crank flashlights and connect them some how :) Now that would be something to see HAHA
  19. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    I still dont' see it being practical. Read the article:

    So for every 1 hour of active use, you have to be in motion for six. And we complain as it is about the battery life now?

    Ooorrrrr, I could plug in my iPhone and be fully charged in about 2.5-3 hours.

    Granted it's a start, but I don't think it'll ever replace batteries. Augment maybe, but not replace. We all said the same thing about fuel cells a few years ago, and it hasn't happened either.
  20. pj rage macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2008
    That's the short term goal. Long term goal is replace batteries. I don't know their research well enough to say for sure if it's possible. Either way, 1 hour per 6 of normal movement is pretty good IMO. For a 12 hour day, you get two "free" hours of continuous phone use. For most users, that means their phone would never get below 100% battery during the day.
  21. milani macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2008
    It's simply a matter of time before such things become commonplace. For now, we're stuck with batteries, but in the not so distant future I suspect technologies such as solar and kinetic will become commonplace on hand held devices, if not for the devices total power, than simply to boost the power of the device, and extend the battery life.
  22. Shao macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2008
    technologies also exists for charge through gas expansion.
    Once again in watches, in a sealed tube, a mixture of gases expand due to temperature change, attached to a minispring a fluctuation of 1 degree is enough to power the watch for 2 days.

    I would also be looking out for wireless recharging, where there will be power sources that can recharge mobile devices wirelessly in a limited range. Based on the concept off zero contact charge bases that electronic toothbrushes use today. That would solve all battery problems.
  23. Ding.Dong macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Someone already makes a solar case for the iPhone:

    Personally, I can't see much use for it since you have to leave the phone in the sun for several hours to get much of a charge.
  24. Shao macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2008

    which heats the phone up, overheats the battery and reduces batt life..
  25. Dammit Cubs macrumors 68000

    Dammit Cubs

    Jul 31, 2007
    I thought about this as well. Right now you don't have the through put to charge the battery. But in the future, if they could make it so you sustain the battery. It still drains but drains slower.

    So your life goes from 2 days to 5 days. That would rock.

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