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Nokia Batteries Could Shake Up the Competition

New batteries could power up using kinetic energy.

Shaken, not stirred?

Nokia has filed a patent for a phone that would recharge itself if the user simply shakes it. The mobile phone maker is applying for a patent to make phones that use electrical energy generated by piezoelectric elements (the shaking), received by a power controller and applied to the battery.

According to the patent application, the radio transmitter circuit and battery will be supported on a sturdy frame which will move up and down as well as from side to side. The frame will move along two sets of rails: One will allow it to travel up and down, the other side to side. At the end of each rail, there will be piezoelectric crystals, which, when compressed by the frame, will generate a current. Everyday motions of a cell phone user -- walking, jogging, etc. -- will create electricity, thereby charging a capacitor which charges the battery.

"Extending battery longevity, which has long been a challenge, becomes increasingly difficult as more and more power is needed," according to Nokia's patent application.

"Kinetic energy harvesting has the potential to at least partially address this challenge. Battery-powered devices are often portable. Indeed, many such devices easily fit within a pocket or purse and experience continued motion over relatively long periods of time. Associated with that motion is acceleration in numerous directions, which acceleration causes masses of various elements within the device to impose a variety of forces. If a significant portion of the energy associated with those forces can be converted to electrical energy, such electrical energy could be used to at least partially recharge the device battery."

There is no word on when a kinetic cell phone will be available for general use, but it may be something James Bond is already trying out.

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