Nokia patents 'Piezoelectric Kinetic Energy Harvester,' or a self-charging phone

Nokia is not adverse to dreaming up futuristic concepts (such as the Morph, pictured above, though the Morph used solar power), but this Piezoelectric Kinetic Energy Harvester sounds like it'll either do what the company says it will, or bring about the grim future world envisioned in The Matrix where we're all suddenly batteries. Batteries!

So what is a Piezoelectric Kinetic Energy Harvester supposed to do? Well, have you ever seen one of the watches some people have that charge themselves as you walk, using the swaying of your wrist to generate energy? Well, it works a lot like that, according to New Scientist:

Nokia envisages a phone in which the heavier components, such as the radio transmitter circuit and battery, are supported on a sturdy frame. This frame can move along two sets of rails, one allows it travel up and down, the other side to side.

Strips of piezoelectric crystals sit at the end of each rail and generate a current when compressed by the frame. So as the user walks, or otherwise moves the phone, the motion generates electricity. This charges a capacitor which in turn trickles charge into the battery, keeping it topped up.

That doesn't sound so bad, though you have to wonder if there will be hassles associated with the phone. If you're sitting at your desk all day, for instance, would you have to shake your phone a lot for a quick call if you're running low? And how much energy will the thing be able to generate even while you're walking if it's in your pocket? If Nokia ever makes the Piezoelectric Kinetic Energy Harvester a reality, we'll be sure to ask them.

Nokia Patent, via New Scientist, via OhGizmo!