Bigger is usually seen as better in terms of generating power but that’s not always the case. Researcher J.C. Chiao and his team at the University of Texas Arlington have developed micro-windmills that could one day power your smartphone.

They’re so small that 10 of them can fit onto a single grain of rice and if a couple hundred are mounted on your handset and held out of a window or simply waved about, they could recharge your phone from a dead state within just a few minutes.

Despite the fact that they’re only 1/15 of an inch wide, their nickel-alloy construction ensures the windmills can endure prolonged exposure to strong winds without sustaining any damage. A fabrication foundry in Taiwan has obtained exclusive rights to commercialize the technology although there’s no timeline as to when we might see them show up in our pockets.

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