I am a big fan of thunder and lightning storms. There is nothing else in nature that is simultaneously fun, romantic and scary (depending on the situation and company). However, there is a very serious side to these storms — death or injury by lightning. Yes, an electrical storm can end your life if you aren’t careful.
Nokia does not seem too concerned though, as it announces it has charged a Windows Phone with the power of lightning. The company says, “wireless charging, in and of itself, is pretty darn cool. But imagine if you could charge your phone using lightning! Nokia has been working with the University of Southampton to do just that, and the results are nothing short of brilliant”.
“We were excited by this challenge presented to us by Nokia…using an alternating current, driven by a transformer, over 200,000 volts was sent across a 300mm gap — giving heat and light similar to that of a lightning bolt. The signal was then stepped into a second controlling transformer, allowing us to charge the phone”, says Neil Palmer, a scientist at the University of Southampton in the UK.
The scientist further explains, “we were amazed to see that the Nokia circuitry somehow stabilized the noisy signal, allowing the battery to be charged in only seconds”.
While this may sound like a trivial publicity stunt, there is actually value in this study. This can potentially lead to further advances in wireless charging, taking us past the boring (yet safe) charging pads we use today. However, please be warned, do not to try this at home — leave the dangerous experiments to Nokia.