Nikola Labs' iPhone 6 case harvests electricity from the air

By Shawn Knight
May 5, 2015
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  1. nikola labs launches iphone case harvests electricity air kickstarter iphone 6 nikola tesla heinrich hertz nikola labs dc power radio frequencies iphone 6 case rf energy

    A company by the name of Nikola Labs claims to have created a case capable of charging your smartphone wirelessly. No, I don’t mean it’s a wireless case that relies on a power source; this particular case converts RF signals from the air into DC power that can extend the life of your device by up to 30 percent.

    Nikola Labs announced its creation at TechCrunch Disrupt. According to the company’s website, the case contains a proprietary RF harvesting circuit that converts the wasted 90 percent of energy a phone produces via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and LTE into DC power that can be supplied to mobile devices. My only concern is whether or not the case would impact signal strength.

    The case doesn’t contain a battery. Instead, it continuously pumps generated juice directly back into your handset. Think of it as a constant trickle charge throughout the day.

    While a non-stop recharge for your phone would be nice, the real potential of the technology - originally developed at Ohio State University - lies within licensing deals. Medical devices, wearables and Internet of Things products could all benefit from RF harvesting due to their low power draw.

    Nikola Labs plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign next month where it’ll “sell” an iPhone 6 case for $99. The team said it hopes to get the case out to early backers within four months of the campaign.

    Permalink to story.

  2. I'll believe it when I see it in action...
    agb81 likes this.
  3. April 1st was last month!
  4. p3ngwin

    p3ngwin TS Enthusiast Posts: 26   +8

    Been debunked before, years ago when RCA tried to market the same idea.

    it would take **8 years** to charge a small (5.6 watt hours) smartphone battery.

    That's assuming 100% energy efficient _and_ being just 1 meter away from a Wi-Fi router (_power delivery decreases with distance from source_) o.O

    as nicely debunked by this awesomely entertaining electronics expert:
    melkiik likes this.
  5. melkiik

    melkiik TS Enthusiast Posts: 42   +10

    So true. I like this guy too, hilarious at times!

    When we have enough wi-fi around us to charge a phone through this, it's going to be more likely: fry the brain fest, than charging a phone ;)
  6. wastedkill

    wastedkill TS Evangelist Posts: 1,373   +310

    Were 5 years ahead... 5 years before we thought 1TB ssd's would be beyond stupidly impossible and cost around 5million...

    things change... this might reduce your phones battery charge going down 20% slower. This has potential its just like solar panels... needs time and with all the signals etc. around us it could charge the phone 1% each hour... still better than loosing 5-15% charge per hour...

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