Phones Can Soon Recharge Using Sounds

November 23, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. recharge /riˈtʃɑrdʒ/ (v.) – to restore lost power or electricity of a device’s battery
Example: I need to recharge my phone before it runs out of power.

2. start off /stɑrt ɔf/ (phrasal v.) – to begin a process or do the first step
Example: The launching ceremony of the company’s new smartphone will start off with a video clip.

3. manage /ˈmæn ɪdʒ/ (v.) – to accomplish a challenging task
Example: She managed to make a call despite the low network signal in the area.

4. maximize /ˈmaksəˌmīz/ (v.) – to make the most or get the best out of something
Example: He carefully thought of how to maximize the space left on his phone’s memory.

5. end product /ɛnd ˈprɒd əkt/ (n.) – the output or result of a process
Example: The early release of the new app was the end product of the employees’ dedication to their work.


Read the text below.
People can soon recharge their mobile phones through sound energy, according to a research.

Dr Joe Briscoe [bris-koh] and Dr Steve Dunn [duhn] of Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) revealed in their study that playing music like pop and rock makes solar cells more efficient. With this, Nokia thought of using this technology for mobile phones. A group of QMUL and Nokia researchers collaborated to create a sample device that can recharge a phone just by using ordinary noises like voices and music.

To start off, the group built a nanogenerator or an energy-harvester to serve as a phone charger. This tool converts energy through nanorods [NAN-oh-rods] composed of zinc oxide [zingk OK-sahyd] and other chemicals. These nanorods can convert vibration and movement caused by sound into electrical energy. The voltage generated by the rods can then be used to recharge a phone.  

Because an effective nanogenerator can be costly, the team modified its production. Instead of using gold as an electrical contact, the group managed to create a contact using only aluminum foil. Also, the team did a special method to maximize the nanorod chemicals available.

After the process, the team was able to create an end product similar in size to Nokia Lumia 925. The created device can generate five volts, enough to recharge a phone.

Briscoe is satisfied with how the collaboration turned out and is excited about the idea of not needing to use conventional chargers anymore.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you use a phone with nanogenerators? Why or why not?
·         What do you think can be the disadvantages of using this technology? Kindly explain.

Discussion B

·         How important is battery capacity in a phone’s specifications?
·         What are some phone power-saving tips that you know of? Kindly discuss.

November 23, 2014