Finger-powered phones coming within 3 years?
24th Jun 2011 | 14:31
Aussie researchers want your keyboard to generate electricity
You could soon be able to extend the life of your laptop or mobile phone simply by typing on its keyboard.
That's according to a group of boffins from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology who've been attempting to harvest electrical currents from special materials that react to pressure.
The idea is that piezoelectric films could be placed underneath each key of a keyboard or keypad in order to generate a charge every time the key is depressed.
The tech is still in its infancy and is currently only able to extend the battery life of a laptop by about 10 per cent, but it is thought that they will eventually be able to make a real contribution to battery life in mobile devices.
The tech was originally developed to harness the physiological processes inside the human body, for example to use a person's blood pressure to power implants like pace makers. However, it soon became clear that the same technology would suit the world of consumer technology.
Pity, then, that the humble keyboard is fast being replaced by entirely static capacitive touchscreens.