The day is not far away when you have to dump your mobile charger and power cords for once and for all. Researchers at the University of Washington have come across a groundbreaking approach to design a battery-free mobile handset. This device is smartly designed so that it can harvest its own power consumption either from light rays or ambient radio signals.

The research was conducted by the Paul G Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington (EW). To demonstrate the breakthrough, the team of researchers placed a Skype call from the prototype gadget. The device was found to be capable to receive and transmit voice or speech, as well as communicate with a base station.

The detailed reports of the upcoming technology were published as a paper, in the famous journal, Proceedings of the Association for Computing Machinery on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies.

Shyam Gollakota, an associate professor involved with the research, was quoted to have said, “We’ve built what we believe is the first functioning cell phone that consumes almost zero power.” According to experts, this is indeed an unbelievable breakthrough, as it will lead to designing really low power-consuming mobile phones that will smoothly run by harvesting energy from the surroundings.


According to reports, the prototype device smoothly performed the basic functions of a phone by transmitting speech and data. Moreover, it also received user inputs through the keypad. While demonstrating through a Skype call, as mentioned above, the researchers attended to incoming calls, place the outgoing ones and even put the callers on hold using the battery-free handset. However, the device still needs a small amount of energy, about 3.5 microwatts, to perform some of the basic operations.

This scientific breakthrough clearly suggests mobile handsets will undergo a drastic paradigm shift in both their designing and functioning in near future.