Powerful voice

28 Jan 2009

In the multi-pronged race to make mobile devices more power-efficient, engineers at Texas A&M University say they're a step closer to enabling handsets that can charge themselves using the power of your voice.

The researchers said in a report that they have doubled the efficiency of piezoelectric devices that harvest energy from movement and vibration after discovering that piezoelectric materials behave differently at the nanometer scale, the BBC reports. Rather than producing voltage by compression and stretching, nano-scale piezoelectric materials can generate power by twisting and bending.

What all that means is piezoelectrics could be deployed in handsets to directly power small devices or charge a battery simply by harnessing the vibration of the speaker's voice.

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