Orange Sound Charge – T-Shirts That use Sound to charge a mobile phone

Extending its legacy of thinking green, UK-based Orange mobile service provider, has created a technology that enables your phone to be ‘charged by sound’– all within a tidy package of a t-shirt.

Currently in its prototype stage, this “charged by sound” device follows Orange’s eco charging devices, such as Power Wellies, which powered users’ phones as they walk.

What differentiates Power Wellies from the latest device is, while the former harnessed user-generated heat to charge devices, the Sound Charge t-shirt captures nearby sound to power up the user’s phone. Watch Power Willies at work:

The new technology is developed in collaboration with renewable energy experts at GotWind.

A Bit more about the sound charging Technology used in Orange’s prototype, Sound Charge:

Sound Charge uses an existing technology in a revolutionary way. The device reverses the use of a product called Piezoelectric film (Piezoelectricity is the charge which accumulates in certain solid materials (notably crystals, certain ceramics, and biological matter such as bone, DNA and various proteins) in response to applied mechanical stress. The word piezoelectricity means electricity resulting from pressure. In simple, certain solid materials are found to generate electricity, when pressure is applied on their surface). Piezoelectric film is usually found in modern hi-fi speakers. A A4 panel of this modified film is housed inside a t-shirt, which then acts much like an oversized microphone by absorbing invisible sound pressure waves. These waves are converted into an electrical charge (by the compression of interlaced quartz crystals); which is then fed into an integral reservoir battery.

Once a T-shirt is put on, a steady charge is dispensed into the phone through a simple, interchangeable lead, which fits most handsets. As a T-Shirt requires to be sent to washing machine every other day; the entire Sound Charge ensemble, the Piezoelectric film panel and electronics are fully removable.

The system charges almost every brand and model of mobile phones.

To enhance the usefulness and practicality of the technology the scientists decided to place the technology inside a T-shirt as it’s worn every day.

Viability of the technology:

The team behind Sound Charge conducted live testing of the technology at the Glastonbury Festival in June, where sound levels of around 80 dB (which is equivalent to sound levels in a busy street), generated up to six watt hours of power–enough to charge two standard mobile phones or one Smartphone.

One can expect to see major improvements in this technology in coming days and months. Orange’s Sound Charge, has one limitation though. Its utility diminishes for those who like quite surroundings. --------

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