Is Apple Really Planning Self-Charging iPhones?
With short battery life a major hassle for smartphone owners, researchers industrywide are continually seeking easier ways to recharge gadgets and prolong their life between charges. An interesting Apple patent, filed in July and published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, hints at an interesting self-charging idea.
The patent describes as system of printed coils on a circuit board, and moveable magnets. The motion of shaking the phone or walking would move the magnets over the coils, producing electricity. No word on how long it might take such an idea to prove practical. And, of course, Apple patents lots of things.
A number of other efforts aim to attack the problem. These include tricks to use photovoltaics built into displays (see “Energy Harvesting Displays”). A collaboration between Intel and IDT is pursuing wireless charging (see “Intel’s Wireless Power Play”) and so is the startup Witricitity (see “Charge Your Phone and Your Car from Afar”).
Those last two ideas would be extensions of something already possible–charging specially-equipped electronics by sitting them directly on charging pads. Among recent smartphone product releases (most of which boasted of some effort to reduce consumption) the new Nokia phone took a somewhat radical step to include such a pad with the device (see “New Smartphones May be Nokia’s Last Stand.”
Meantime, try not to use the phone as a flashlight too often.
Geoffrey Hinton tells us why he’s now scared of the tech he helped build
“I have suddenly switched my views on whether these things are going to be more intelligent than us.”
Meet the people who use Notion to plan their whole lives
The workplace tool’s appeal extends far beyond organizing work projects. Many users find it’s just as useful for managing their free time.
Learning to code isn’t enough
Historically, learn-to-code efforts have provided opportunities for the few, but new efforts are aiming to be inclusive.
Deep learning pioneer Geoffrey Hinton has quit Google
Hinton will be speaking at EmTech Digital on Wednesday.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.