Cell Phones Powered by Conversation?

Chatty teenagers could be the world’s next renewable energy source.

Scientists from Korea have turned the main ingredient of calamine lotion into a tiny material that converts sound waves into electricity. The research could lead to panels that can charge a cell phone from a conversation or provide a boost of energy to the nation’s electrical grid generated by the noise during rush hour traffic.

“Just as speakers transform electric signals into sound, the opposite process — of turning sound into a source of electrical power — is possible,” said Young Jun Park and Sang-Woo Kim, the two corresponding authors of a new article in the journal Advanced Materials.

“Sound power can be used for various novel applications including mobile phones that can be charged during conversations and sound-insulating walls near highways that generate electricity from the sound of passing vehicles,” the co-authors added.

Harvesting energy from phone calls and passing cars is based on materials known as piezoelectrics. When bent, a piezoelectric material turns that mechanical energy into electricity.

via Cell Phones Powered by Conversation? : Discovery News.

The Recent Future / September 14, 2010 / SciFi, Tech / 0 Comments

‘Beam me up, Scotty!’ Breakthrough as scientists move objects 5ft using tractor beams

Scientists have invented a tractor beam which is able to move large objects longer distances than ever before by using a laser light.

A team of researchers at the Australian National University in Canberra have brought the art of molecular transportation, made famous by the catchphrase ‘Beam me up, Scotty’ from the TV series Star Trek, a fraction closer.

Using what they call tractor beams – rays of energy that can move objects – they have managed to move tiny particles up to 59 inches from one place to another.

via ‘Beam me up, Scotty!’ Breakthrough as scientists move objects 5ft using tractor lasers | Mail Online.

The Recent Future / September 9, 2010 / SciFi, Star Trek Did It! / 0 Comments

Scientists discover tiny solar panels that create themselves

Scientists discover tiny solar panels that create themselves | DVICE.

The Recent Future / September 8, 2010 / Nature, Tech / 0 Comments