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Nokia, the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer, has filed a U.S. patent application for a gadget that uses body movement to charge the battery in devices such as mobile phones. Nokia’s invention makes use of piezoelectric elements, which absorb energy as the device is moving around in a pocket or purse, and transforms it into electricity, the company said in an application filed to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Press: Nokia seeks patent for kinetic battery charger

As electronic devices add ever more complex features they also require more energy, so extending the battery life is getting increasingly difficult, Nokia said in the patent application.

Other handset makers have also tried to find ways to extend the battery life of mobile devices. Last summer, South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. launched the solar-powered Solar Guru phone. The kinetic power generated by the new application will probably not be strong enough to charge a mobile phone on its own, according to Nokia spokesman Mark Durrant, but it could provide supplemental energy.

The piezoelectric effect, by which certain materials when bent or compressed generate an electrical charge, is the same phenomenon that powers quartz watches. Still, Durrant said the patent application is a lengthy process. The patent application was filed back in August 2008, and it is still uncertain whether the invention will eventually end up on the market. It typically takes around six years from application date until a patent is granted by the U.S. authorities, he said.

[Via]

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