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Nokia to forge energy harvesting phone V.J. | , 1:10 p.m. June 12, 2009 2009-06-12

Some mobile phone manufacturers try to become more eco-friendly by creating mobile phones who do not necessarily depend on traditional energy sources such as electricity. We’ve reported that Samsung is releasing a mobile phone that can charge itself by using solar energy. Now, Nokia steps in and announce they will forge a handset with energy harvesting capabilities.

Nokia is about to develop a phone that will utilize the ambient radio waves to recharge itself. In other words, the handset will convert ambient electromagnetic waves into electrical signals. 

The technology basically works on the principles of the Radio frequency identification. The mobile phone will use ambient electromagnetic radiation, emitted from WiFi transmitters, cell phone antennas, TV masts and other sources.

Markku Rouvala, a researcher at Nokia Research Center in Cambridge, UK, said that his team is working to create a prototype that could harvest up to 50 milliwatts of power which is enough to slowly recharge a phone that is switched off. He also said that current prototypes can gather 3 to 5 milliwatts.

"Even if you are only getting microwatts, you can still harvest energy, provided your circuit is not using more power than it's receiving," Rouvala added.

Additionally, Nokia will use other energy-harvesting technologies such as solar cells embedded into the handset casing.

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