How do you power your mobile phone? If you’re a normal cell phone user then you plug your phone into a charger which is plugged into an outlet and you collect electricity to power the battery on your phone. But of course you must already know that there are other, more creative, more energy-efficient ways to power a mobile phone. Some of these, like solar power, are uncommon methods that we’re likely to see becomingly increasingly common as time goes on. Others are wacky concept ideas that we’re probably not ever going to see in the major mobile phone market. Let’s take a look at ten of the weird and uncommon ways that people might power their mobile phones:
Coca-Cola. One of the most recent concept phones to make headlines in terms of unusual power solutions is the phone that is powered by Coke. This odd cylindrical-shaped phone relies on a form of fuel cell technology that utilizes sugary water to generate power. There is a ton of sugar in the carbonated water that makes up a can of Coke so that’s why this is the drink of choice for the thirsty phone. At the end of its long life span, the Coke-powered battery can be tossed away because it’s fully biodegradable. What a weird green way to power a phone. And what a great marketing tool for Coke to get in on!
Fuel Cells. The Coke phone might get some creativity points in terms of its marketing gimmick but it’s actually not the first mobile phone power solution to rely on fuel cell technology. One of the best examples of a phone product that uses fuel cells for power is the Dynario by Toshiba. This is a phone charger that attaches to your phone. It comes with a liquid made up of ambient oxygen and methane which you pour into the phone charger to power the handset. It’s not quite as easy to get your hands on this as to buy a can of Coke but it’s based on the same basic idea and promotes a kind of green energy that is becoming increasingly popular.
Alcohol Cells. For those of you who aren’t up on your green technology, there are several different types of fuel cells. One specific type of fuel cell is the alcohol fuel cell. This refers to fuels that are generated from biological sources rather than from petroleum-based sources. And there is one top of phone out there, the Cheers phone, that uses eco-friendly alcohol cells for power. They also do a cool play on words by making the phone a flask-shaped phone. Anyone got alcohol on the brain?!
Kinetic Energy. You can use your own human energy to help power your mobile phone. That’s the idea behind the cell phones that are starting to emerge using kinetic energy for power. The most well-known example of this type of phone is the Kyocera EOS; the more you use the phone, the more energy is generated to make it keep working. Ulysse Nardin luxury smartphones also implement this technology.
Powered by Pee. Want to consider something really off-the-wall? It is actually possible to create a battery that is powered by urine. And that is even true of a mobile phone battery. We saw the first stages of this technology emerge back in 2005 when the first ever urine-powered paper battery was created by Singapore physicists. Although the battery was not specifically intended to power mobile phones, it was mentioned even back then that it would be an option for generating cell phone power during emergencies. That might be the only time that you’d want to use this option.
Wind Up. You are familiar with the idea of winding up a watch to keep it operating properly right? Well, that’s something that you can theoretically do with your mobile phone as well. In addition to a few different wind-up handsets that have been created there are several options for buying a wind-up phone charger.
Bicycle Charger. It isn’t that difficult to turn your bicycle into a device that can power your mobile phone. In fact, this is something that is increasingly common among people who live the bike culture / DIY lifestyle. It’s also something that is done by people living in third world countries where battery power may be scarce but energy can be easily generated by bikes as they are ridden around from village to village. This is a great green way to power a phone especially if you’re already someone who rides a bicycle regularly.
Foot-pump Charger. You don’t actually need to ride a bike in order to use your feet to power your mobile phone. Instead you might consider getting a foot-pump that is pressed by your foot in order to generate power to increase the battery of your existing mobile phone. The foot pump attaches to a turbine which generates wind power that can be used to power the mobile phone.
Wind Power. The foot pump is no longer the only option that you have if you want to use the power of the wind to energize your mobile phone. This renewable resource is being studied carefully these days and people are coming up with all kinds of cool ways to harness the energy to power phones with wind.
Solar Power. This is probably the least creative method of powering a mobile phone other than just using a standard battery and charger. However it remains a method of cell phone power that is relatively uncommon. There are many different options out there for solar power for phones (including solar power handsets and solar-powered chargers as well as various new charging devices that rely on solar power and can be plugged into by phone). Despite the options, solar-powered phones remain something that only a fringe group of people are using. Will this be the first “alternative” method of mobile phone power to really hit the mainstream mobile market?