Nikola Labs Picks Up Radio Waves to Charge Your Phone

Nikola Labs Picks Up Radio Waves to Charge Your Phone

The idea of wireless charging has been around for some time. With painful sluggishness, the technology is improving, although the ability to send electricity zipping across the room to your phone seems a long way off. But there are other ways to harvest power without wires. The iPhone case made by startup Nikola Labs harnesses the ambient power of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and network radio waves for charging purposes.

We think of data connections as being direct links. In reality, they rely on the indiscriminate broadcasting of radio waves. This is an effective way of transferring files and messages while you wander about, phone in hand, but it is also incredibly wasteful. According to the co-founder of Nikola Labs, Dr. Rob Lee, 97 per cent of the energy used by your phone in making these connections is used up on unnecessary wave-making.

Nikola Labs Picks Up Radio Waves to Charge Your Phone

The idea behind the upcoming case is to recycle this power, and use it to recharge your phone. It does so with a RF antenna, which passively soaks up any radio waves it happens to come across. The rectifier circuit inside the case then converts this into DC juice. The results are not yet spectacular — the prototype case is capable of extending the iPhone 6’s battery life by a third. But for a relatively slimline case which is harvesting free power, that is pretty good, and you can speed things up by placing your phone near a router.

product-hero

There might be performance gains with future generations of the case, too. Nikola Labs will be launching their project on Kickstarter soon, with the aim of funding the manufacture of a retail-ready product. When that happens, the case will be available for $99. Although this technology still has some way to go, at that kind of price, it definitely has potential.

You can sign up to receive updates from Nikola Labs here.

Mark is best known for writing about apps, but he also loves the tactile, hardware side of technology. Being a professional photographer, he's pretty handy with a camera, and he's a self-confessed tweetaholic.
2
Join the Discussion

You Might Also Like

Mind-blowing gadgets for your bedroom

Mind-blowing gadgets for your bedroom

We all love a good gadget to add to our bedroom. There’s nothing better than that feeling when you wake up in the morning and just admire it. The trouble is, it’s hard to know what you really need. Sure,..
DeerTV review: A weatherproof outdoor TV enclosure you can rely on

DeerTV review: A weatherproof outdoor TV enclosure you can rely on

Outdoor TVs have been trending for quite a while now. From backyards to patios and bars to music events, outdoor TVs make outdoor entertainment more immersive and fun than ever. But how can you keep your TV safe from the..
WWDC 2024: Apple Intelligence, Genmoji, Math Notes & more

WWDC 2024: Apple Intelligence, Genmoji, Math Notes & more

Welcome to our coverage of Apple’s highly anticipated WWDC keynote 2024. Today, the tech giant unveiled its annual updates to Apple’s tech platform, including iPadOS, macOS, WatchOS, iOS, and others. But Apple also had some new software and features to..
Audi active coach: How to achieve stress-free driving

Audi active coach: How to achieve stress-free driving

If your heart races when you approach busy intersections or drive side-by-side with large trucks, you’re not alone. Recent studies show that certain situational factors can increase stress levels. Add to that the everyday work stress, and you’ll get a..
Coolest golf gadgets and accessories that will enhance your game

Coolest golf gadgets and accessories that will enhance your game

Golf requires skill, technique, and patience. But, thanks to tech, there are now a variety of gadgets and accessories that can improve your game and make your time on the green even more enjoyable. And they’re some of the coolest..
20 Unique product designs you’ll love in 2024

20 Unique product designs you’ll love in 2024

As someone who’s always on the lookout for the next big thing in innovation, I can’t wait to share with you the 20 unique product designs you’ll love in 2024. From sleek tech gadgets to sustainable household items, these products..