Thursday, May 7, 2015

Nikola Labs iPhone case promises unlimited free energy harvested from the air

There's no denying battery life is the single, most annoying issue, people have to endure these days; and now there's a iPhone case that promises to extend battery life by harvesting free energy out of thin air.

Don't get me wrong, energy harvesting is a real thing, using motion, temperature, or radio frequencies (RF) to generate electricity, just like this Nikola Labs iPhone case promises to do. The thing is, the amount of energy that can be generated using these methods is extremely low; enough for several (very) low power applications, but not enough to have any meaningful impact on a smartphone.

Its creator says this case can harvest the 90% "wasted energy" transmitted by the smartphone, using it to recharge the device and resulting in up to 30% longer battery life. Claims that are not enough to convince electrical and RF engineers.

Cell phones already adjust the transmission power according the current needs, and trying to harvest power from it would be similar to trying to power a sailboat using a fan on it blowing its sails.

Suffice to say, I'm also highly skeptical of these claims - but I wouldn't mind (in fact, I would love) to be proven wrong. Until then, I have no choice but to recommend you to keep your money away from this project when it arrives on Kickstarter in the coming weeks.

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