Can you really charge your phone as you play more Angry Birds? In future: Yes.
Australian scientists have made a breakthrough that could make your phone’s touchscreen produce a small electrical charge every time you touch it – effectively charging your phone as you use it.
Piezoelectric materials turn movement or pressure into electricity – you have probably used one if you have ever flicked an electric cigarette lighter but they have loads of applications. The trouble is, the piezoelectric crystals required to generate a decent amount of juice tend to be quite big.
Researchers at the RMIT University in Melbourne have managed to make a nano-film of a piezoelectric material called PSZT which can generate about 0.25w from a gentle touch. This is a tiny amount of power but the Aussies are confident they can improve it. What this means is that it should be practical to coat your phone screen in a film that will generate a small amount of power every time you swipe your finger across it.
It is too early to say if this will produce enough ‘leccy to mean you never have to plug in again but this should at least mean you can keep your phone going for longer while playing Angry Birds.