Mobiles to get motion-charged batteries

A US firm has created a battery for mobile devices which is charged through everyday movement
Written by Björn Greif, Contributor

US mobile power-generation firm M2E Power has developed a mini-generator for mobile devices which turns kinetic energy into electricity, using the principle of induction.

M2E has created a mini-generator with a chargeable battery for inclusion into a mobile device. As the device is used, its battery can be charged through everyday hand movements alone. According to M2E, this increases the battery life of devices by between three and seven times compared to a standard mobile.

The devices will now be developed by the US Army to enable a broad deployment within the forces. According to M2E, however, developing a device for the consumer market is the long-term goal.

M2E is planning to reduce the size of the mini-generators while keeping performance at the right level for mobile devices, said Regan Warner-Rowe, M2E's licensing and business manager.

Including the mini-generators in a device takes at least 24 months, Rowe added, meaning customers will have to wait at least that long to see the first mobiles with mini-generators included.

According to M2E, the materials required for manufacture of the devices are readily available, are only marginally more expensive than those needed for current lithium batteries and use 30 to 40 percent less heavy metals.

The Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has also announced the development of a rechargeable battery system which uses kinetic energy for the Australian military, working together with companies such as BAE Systems, Tenix and Thales.

ZDNet Australia's Suzanne Tindal contributed to this report.

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