IBM has been predicting such a technology in its annual technology forecast for some time now and still predicts that motion chargers could be a reality in or shortly after 2015.
However, Apple has attracted some attention by actually applying for a patent covering a power supply via electromagnetic induction. The patent application, filed in June of this year, could conceivably hint to a power supply that will charge your iPhone battery as soon as your body is in motion, as TechCrunch pointed out.
What makes Apple's patent especially interesting is the design of the electromagnetic induction process. Apple does not intend to use the kind of traditional wire coils that are typically shown to demonstrate induction. Instead, Apple says it is possible to use coils printed on circuit boards, which would indicate that this technology could actually fit into a mobile device without the need for clumsy wires.
There was no information just how much power such a system is able to generate. However, it appears that if Apple truly has body motion in mind when it reminds us that the movement of magnets close to printed coils can create an "electromotive force", then we surely hope that this patent will end up in technology we will be able to buy soon.
But Apple patenting it means I'll never get it for my phones. :/
IBM has been predicting such a technology.....
The patent application, filed in June of this year, could conceivably hint to a power supply"
etc,etc --> does anyone else think that innovation should only be rewarded when an actual prototype has been built and proven to be , erm, actually 'innovative'
--> i.e. does this type of activity (early (theoretical) patent with no prototype) block all future competitive activity in the (legal) area surrounding the patent. Is this really a good thing for open innovation? Do we need to change the way patent applications work?
However, there is no way to generate any usable amount of electricity from body heat or motion. There is no viable function to generate electricity from the ever-so-slightly-higher than ambient human body temperature, and any electricity generated from motion is going to be relative to the (tiny) mass of the generator assembly of the charging device. It would be more efficient to make the back of the phone a solar cell(a la ye olden solar calculators from the 90s) than to use motion or body heat, and any freshman engineering major knows that.