Nokia and Science Want to Use Lightning to Charge Your Phone

Unsustainable energy is so last century. If Nokia gets its way, in the future, you’ll be using renewable, environmentally friendly, terrifyingly deadly lightning to charge your phone.

“As one of the first companies to introduce wireless charging into our products, we believe that this experiment has the potential to jump-start new ideas on how we charge our phones in the future,” explained Nokia’s Executive Vice President for Sales and Marketing, Chris Weber.

When Weber says “experiment,” he’s not talking in the abstract. The technology is already there and the experiment has already been successfully carried it. It turns out it’s quite possible to harness the power of lightning to charge a phone, and you don’t even have to be a supervillain or a mad scientist to do it.

Here’s how a team of scientists from the University of Southampton, in collaboration with Nokia, used some lab created lightning to power up a Nokia phone. From Mashable:

In order to create a “lightning bolt” for their test, the team first generated an alternating current through a transformer. They then channeled that current between a gap that was a little under an inch thick, surging 200,000 volts — well within the average strength of a typical lightning strike — in the form of a bolt of electricity. The signal was then transferred into another controlling transformer, where it was able to charge the battery of a Nokia Lumia 925.

No word on whether any of the scientists followed that up by raising their palms toward the sky and giving a hearty, “Muahahaha!

“We were amazed to see that the Nokia circuitry somehow stabilized the noisy signal, allowing the battery to be charged. This discovery proves devices can be charged with a current that passes through the air, and is a huge step towards understanding a natural power like lightning and harnessing its energy,” scientist Neil Palmer told Phys.org.

Obviously this concept is still in its infancy and it’ll probably be quite some time before every home features a lightning rod-powered charging station – but you’ve gotta start somewhere. That said, we recommend you leave it to the scientists and don’t try this one at home.

(via Mashable)