Smartphone batteries have gone a long way but even in 2020, battery anxiety is something many people have to deal with on a daily basis. As our phones replace more and more devices and even our wallets, it becomes increasingly important that they have power at all times. And while carrying a power bank or a battery case is the go-to solution today, Samsung envisions something a lot more elegant for the future.
A patent filed by Samsung at South Korea’s patent office was published today, revealing a very curious little device. The patent
was quickly spotted by GalaxyClub
and describes a ring that is meant to charge your smartphone.
The device isn’t powered by a battery wrapped around your finger, however. Instead, a magnetic disc inside the ring moved around by the motions of your hand is creating electricity. Basically, there’s a tiny generator embedded in the ring. But that’s not all. Apart from the kinetic energy of your movements, the ring will also be able to transform your body heat into electricity, according to the patent.
Schematic of the device as shown in the patent filing
Of course, there will also be a tiny battery to hold the generated electricity before transferring it to your phone. Which is where the clever part of the ring comes in. Instead of having to plug your phone with a cable or leave it on a charger, the ring will charge the phone as you’re using it. If you’re holding a phone right now, you’ll notice that either your ring or middle finger is right across where the wireless charging
coils would be (or are if your phone has wireless charging).
As with any device that makes its first appearance in a patent, there is still plenty of work to be done before it reaches consumer, if that even happens at any point. And this ring has a number of challenges to overcome, mostly related to the size of the components.
Harvesting the power of our movement is nothing new, watches have done it for many decades, but phones require a lot more power to run, so we’ll have to wait and see how viable a device like this proposed ring will be.