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65 comments

Perpetual motion (0)

unts (754160) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415100)

Now if only they can create a perpetual motion device from the vibration motor, they'll have an infinite source of mobile power!

Re:Perpetual motion (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31415246)

Why not plug a hydraulic pump that generates power to your heart/arteries that way you have mobile power until you die, you won't be needing the device after that anyways...

So what you're saying is... (2, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415134)

...if my laptop is running low on power, I should shake the hell out of it? Can do!

So what you're saying is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31415386)

I should shake the hell out of it?

Only if it is an Apple.

Re:So what you're saying is... (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31416374)

...if my laptop is running low on power, I should shake the hell out of it? Can do!

No. That's how you reboot the iPad. And Etch-a-Sketches.

Talk about a Euro-centric technology! (4, Informative)

Weezul (52464) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415156)

I'm aware that many Europeans and Asians would benefit from this technology, but American outside NYC will never get much current out. Any wonder Nokia dominates the European and Asian markets but preforms dismally over here?

Re:Talk about a Euro-centric technology! (2, Funny)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415248)

I'm aware that many Europeans and Asians would benefit from this technology, but American outside NYC will never get much current out. Any wonder Nokia dominates the European and Asian markets but preforms dismally over here?

Because we're all like the humans in Wall-E. We've got robot chairs and we never, ever move.

Re:Talk about a Euro-centric technology! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31415392)

I'd expect the guy named after his favorite restaurant to know this. And no, I don't mean that there's a restaurant named Bob.

Re:Talk about a Euro-centric technology! (0, Troll)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415618)

Right, because again, no one was Scotch-Irish prior to that restaurant existing. Those cultures sprung up overnight in response to cheap hamburgers.

Re:Talk about a Euro-centric technology! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31416926)

Are all of you that easy to troll too, or did that spring up overnight in response to cheap hamburgers?

Re:Talk about a Euro-centric technology! (1)

Weezul (52464) | more than 4 years ago | (#31417200)

England, Scottland and Ireland are not Europe culturally, even if Ireland likes pretending to annoy the British.

An English 16 year old girl will be fatter than an American girl. A 50 year old French mother of two will weigh less than either one.

Re:Talk about a Euro-centric technology! (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415430)

Is that because the people in the places you name are furiously masturbating over their alleged superiority?

I bet there are more obese people in New York City than there are people in Wyoming.

Re:Talk about a Euro-centric technology! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31415516)

Yes, we are furiosuly masturbating, at least in my experience.

Re:Talk about a Euro-centric technology! (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415762)

I bet there are more obese people in New York City than there are people in Wyoming

Considering about 11 million people show up to NYC every day, and Wyoming has about 533,000 people in the state, so yes, you are correct. Heck, I bet there are more kids in NYC schools than there are people in Wyoming.

So, what was your point?

Re:Talk about a Euro-centric technology! (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415806)

That being a resident of New York isn't a predictor of who will benefit from a kinetic charger?

Re:Talk about a Euro-centric technology! (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31416206)

Absolutely true. But the thing would sell like hotcakes in a place like NYC, where people walk pretty much everywhere and nearly everyone has a cell phone.

Re:Talk about a Euro-centric technology! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31417840)

... which they're constantly shaking, as their reception sucks.

Re:Talk about a Euro-centric technology! (1)

Weezul (52464) | more than 4 years ago | (#31417402)

I have considerable life experience living among different cultures. My impression has always been that men evaluate their success based upon both domain metrics and absolute metrics.

A domain metric might be football, C++, driving, or warcraft III skill, but we only have one or two absolute metric, and the secondary absolute metric is always being a good family man. A few domain metrics like cooking heavily influence surface level cultural distinctions. All the biggest subtle cultural differences are determined by the absolute metrics however.

An American male's primary absolute metric is always his net wealth, income, or possessions guess which one wracks up credit card debt). A Frenchman's primary absolute metric is the number and quality of the women he's fucked, unless he sacrifices that metric for family man only. Big fucking cultural difference!

Anyways, I don't think they're exactly "masturbating" over their female's greater attractiveness. ;)

Re:Talk about a Euro-centric technology! (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31417766)

It's always promising when considerable life experience leads to sweeping generalizations.

It sort of sounds like wherever you go, you spend a lot of time with assholes.

Even better... (3, Interesting)

phormalitize (1748504) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415186)

I heard on the radio that there are bras that can charge ipods with kinetic energy generated by breast motion. Have not been able to confim the actual existence of such a device via a few google searches, though there seem to be a lot of articles speculating on the possibility.

Re:Even better... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415276)

Trust me, my fellow slashdotter, breasts exist. I have independently confirmed this.

Re:Even better... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31415300)

Slashdot.org?

More like Slash_website_for_men_with_moobs_dot.org

Using the battery mass to advantage. (3, Informative)

dtmos (447842) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415214)

The independent claims in the application (20100045241 [uspto.gov], filed August 20, 2008) center on the use of the battery's mass to generate electricity via one or more piezoelectric elements. It's always nice to see a liability turned into an asset. While this is just an application, and the claims may differ substantially in the issued patent (should one issue at all), here is the first independent claim:

1. An apparatus comprising:
          a device housing;
          a holder configured to retain a battery;
          a first piezoelectric element coupling the holder to the device housing and configured to receive, as a result of acceleration of the device housing and along a first axis, a first portion of a force of imposed by a mass of a battery retained in the holder;
          a second piezoelectric element coupling the holder to the device housing and configured to receive, as a result of the device housing acceleration and along a second axis that is non-parallel to the first axis, a second portion of the force imposed by the mass of the battery retained in the holder; and
          a controller configured to receive electrical energy output by the first and second piezoelectric elements in response to the first and second force portions and to make the received electrical energy available for at least one of:
                    satisfying at least part of an electrical load satisfiable by the battery retained in the holder, and
                    recharging the battery retained in the holder.

So it's key to (a) use the battery as the mass, and (b) generate electrical energy from two nonparallel piezoelectric elements. Note that nowhere does the claim mention a phone, just "a device," so this could have relatively wide applicability -- should it issue as written.

Re:Using the battery mass to advantage. (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31421476)

Since there are 3 dimensions of linear acceleration and 3 more of angular acceleration, I can't see how only 2 piezo elements could make effective use of all the movement. Maybe they've done some consumer testing and determined that no one ever shakes their mobile along its Z-axis?

Re:Using the battery mass to advantage. (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 4 years ago | (#31455934)

if you hold it in the Z axis and add a low resistance lubricant then any motion energy along the z axis will bet transfered to the X & Y (EXCEPT motion that is perfectly along the Z axis and not at all against the X/Y - which is not your typical movement)

I'm willing to bet that while they are missing out on some energy - by constraining it on one axis they are making the generation along the other 2 more effecient and allowing some of the Z axis energy to be captured via deflection.

Seiko Watches (4, Informative)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415288)

Seiko has been making watches powered solely by kinetic motion for over two decades now. http://www.seikowatches.com/technology/kinetic/index.html [seikowatches.com]

Re:Seiko Watches (1)

sivax (747900) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415666)

Yep got one myself in 1999 and its still ticking, long as I wear it anyway.

Re:Seiko Watches (1)

kandela (835710) | more than 4 years ago | (#31421086)

I'm wearing a 1977 model. Yes, it is older than me, but not by much.

I think it has been calibrated for an older person though, as when I wear it, it gains 5 minutes a fortnight.

Re:Seiko Watches (2, Informative)

jockeys (753885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415858)

everyone else has been doing it since 1770 or so:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_watch
:) although it's sans-battery

Re:Seiko Watches (1)

gibson123 (1740752) | more than 4 years ago | (#31416030)

I remember seeing a flashlight advertised that worked by shaking it. Anyone can "file" a patent, getting awarded one is completely different story, they have to demonstrate something "not obvious" in this.

Re:Seiko Watches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31416388)

That is unless it's a software patent. I think with software patents they have to prove it's obvious in order to get awarded the patent.

-- gid

Re:Seiko Watches (1)

spazdor (902907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31421514)

Nah, they just have to restate the Church-Turing thesis and convince the patent office that no matter what "alternative" method the competition may have devised to accomplish the same task, it's ultimately the same method.

Re:Seiko Watches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31416618)

I have one with a quite clever hand crank mechanism and have also seen a more sophisticated model with a chord for charging your mobile with it. Dunno how well the charging actually works, though.

Re:Seiko Watches (0, Redundant)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31417988)

Yo dawg, I heard you like to crank your yank, so we installed a crank to power your computer, so you can crank while you crank your yank.

Re:Seiko Watches (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 4 years ago | (#31421634)

Using the battery to charge itself is actually kinda clever. All rechargeable batteries should have this inside them as standard!

Re:Seiko Watches (1)

Fri13 (963421) | more than 4 years ago | (#31424428)

And there are cellphones using same technology. Nokia is just trying to patent a own kind idea what is used on flashlights ( I have one such where the magnet moves from end to end. Uses one bright LED and with about 1 hour shakecharging the flashlight lights up very brightly for one week continuesly). Here is the cellphone with technology what Nokia is patenting. http://www.uncells.com/models/product-details/ [uncells.com] Altough Nokia is trying to get battery and all other functions in the rack and slide it inside the phone.

Prior art (2, Insightful)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415310)

Mechanical watches have had auto winding movements for over a century. Seiko have had self charging quartz watches for decades. It seems that any new kinetic charging system would just be an evolution of these.

Re:Prior art (2, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415502)

It would, but I think Nokia wants to patent it for mobile phones. Then someone will patent it for car remote fobs, then someone else will patent it for media players, then someone else will patent it for those sneakers that light up, then someone else will patent it for vibrators, then Apple will ban the use of the technology because someone has patented another use of it that could be sexually suggestive.

Re:Prior art (2, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415512)

As mentioned a few comments up, a key element is to have the mass of the battery itself used in the charging system. I don't know about watches, but from the move-to-charge devices I've seen, they all have an additional moving mass. Using the battery itself to charge would reduce the overall weight significantly. That seems to be the novel idea here.

Re:Prior art (2, Interesting)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415810)

Watches have minuscule power consumption compared to a phone and can get along with using capacitors instead of batteries so there is less loss during charging.

Getting a kinetic charger to kick out the power necessary to charge a lithium battery would be very impressive.

Re:Prior art (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 4 years ago | (#31416298)

I was going to post the same thing. This technology is called automatic quartz [wikipedia.org], and was pioneered by Seiko with their Kinetic line. It works great... on watches, which have a VERY low power consumption. Normal wrist movement is enough to charge a watch within a day and keep it running for months, even with no aditional movement. Citizen does something similar with their Eco-drive line, which are powered by light instead of motion (less moving parts).

They might be able to scale it for cellphones, but laptops (even netbooks) are relatively too power hungry for these generators. I'd love to see some details on this though...

Today's patent humor (3, Funny)

dtmos (447842) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415394)

Typographical errors occur more often than one would think in patent applications. Often they're because the typist is unfamiliar with technical terms or can't read the inventor's handwriting. Or, maybe, the typist is daydreaming about a lobster dinner:

The same day the kinetic energy patent application was published, the USPTO published this one: SOFT BUTTER MEMORY CONFIGURATION IN A COMMUNICATION SYSTEM [uspto.gov].

It, of course, refers to a "soft buffer" memory configuration, but which patent is likely to have less prior art?

So the phone case has to go on a place that moves? (2, Interesting)

Fastfwd (44389) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415450)

I mean would you get a better charge by carrying the phone in your hand than on your belt because it moves more? Maybe even on your shoes but then picking up a call is not much fun.

Re:So the phone case has to go on a place that mov (2)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415508)

Maybe even on your shoes but then picking up a call is not much fun.

Missed it by that much.

Time to patent a wrist cell phone holder (1)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415610)

Now porn is a fuel source.
Nokia: comes with music, powered by porn.

Re:Time to patent a wrist cell phone holder (1)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 4 years ago | (#31415794)

This will spawn a whole new generation of wrist-mounted cell phone holders.

Ewwww... powered by movements? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31415742)

My doctor is always asking if I've had a movement recently. I guess I'd better be eating more Bran Flakes if I buy a Nokia cell phone from now on.

Conference Notes: (4, Interesting)

KiwiCanuck (1075767) | more than 4 years ago | (#31416026)

I was at a conference in Europe a few years ago and they had an afternoon section devoted to power scavenging. Most devices produced nanowatts of power. The problem is extracting the power from random motion. A fixed length cantilever (the simplest design) will only produce meaningful power when at resonance. Complex arrays can extract more power, but the cost-benefit ratio rises quickly. The only device that broke the milliwatt was NASA's micro (milli?) jet turbine (it might have broke the Watt barrier as well, I can't remember exactly). However, the turbine was made out of a stack of twenty 3-inch wafers. At $10 per wafer (very cheap wafer), you're starting cost is $200. So it is very costly to build, but could be extremely useful in many applications.

Thats's cool (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 4 years ago | (#31425150)

Yes, having a reason to keep my cell in my hand at all times even when i am walking to produce a charge is a cool reason....
wonder if we could add that to other things too.....

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