Charge your phone with a bolt of lightning

first_imgThe thought of charging a phone with anything other than an irritatingly short wire may seem like something from science fiction, but there are less conventional methods to get that battery back up to 100%.Wireless charging is one option, though your phone still has to be in one set location, normally on a charging pad. There are other, wackier devices that charge your phone without the tether of an electrical outlet, though, like those camping devices that use fire. Now, University of Southampton scientists have use a bolt of lightning to charge a phone.The Southampton scientists teamed up with Nokia, and used a transformer to create a lightning bolt in a controlled lab environment. The team passed 200,000 volts across an 11-inch gap, and circuitry from Nokia was placed in the same vicinity. The circuitry was able to stabilize the bolt, and draw power from it.Rather than just sounding cool, or making you one step closer to your dream of powering a time traveling car during a bad storm in a race against time, the experiment proved that consumer-grade devices can draw enough power to hold a charge from electric currents passing through the air.If this technology does make its way to consumers, it might be as a service at first, rather than an antenna you plug into your roof. The modern world already has electricity in abundance, so harnessing free electricity from the sky at some kind of base station on the ground would help power remote areas where electricity isn’t readily available.Until then, don’t run outside during a storm and stick a tall metal pole into the Lightning port of your iPhone 5S.last_img read more