Rugged mobile news - Tough mobile phones owners could soon buy Power Felt
People who own tough mobile phones because they work in a job in which a non-rugged mobile phone won't last long, or have an active pastime, may be interested to hear about a new charger which may soon be manufactured.
If you're out in the middle of a field or hiking, for example, it's annoying that every so often you need to try and find a source of electricity in order to charge your mobile back up.
Now, technology developed by Wake Forest University in North Carolina, America, may render the need to head back to civilisation in the middle of a job or a trek obsolete.
Using what the scientists have called Power Felt – a material similar to felt with carbon nano-tubes within it – mobile phones could be charged through touch alone.
The fabric converts heat into electricity (that's thermoelectric), and according to The Centre for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials a mobile cover could be manufactured out of the fabric for as little as one US dollar.
This is surprising, since thermoelectric technologies have existed for a while but are not widely used because they are typically too expensive to make business sense.
A student at Wake Forest University stated, "We waste a lot of energy in the form of heat.
"Generally thermoelectrics are an underdeveloped technology for harvesting energy, yet there is so much opportunity."
The people working on the Power Felt feel that it has the potential to help out with more than just charging people's mobiles.
The director of The Centre for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials says, "Imagine it in an emergency kit, wrapped around a flashlight, powering a weather radio, charging a prepaid cell phone.
"Literally, just by sitting on your phone, Power Felt could provide relief during power outages or accidents."
Unfortunately for individuals with tough mobile phones, who are raring to purchase a new thermoelectric phone charger, the Power Felt reportedly needs further development before it can enter the market.
Still, it's nice to know that this great technology will, in the not so distant future, be available for purchase in the form of a phone charging case.