Orange, Official Communications Partner for the Glastonbury Festival currently being held in the United Kingdom, has announced their latest invention in the world of mobile charging technology with an innovative gadget that powers mobile phones using sound.
Following months of planning and development, the prototype, named the Orange 'Sound Charge' has been produced in conjunction with renewable energy experts at GotWind. The eco charging device uses an existing technology in a revolutionary way by reversing the use of piezoelectric film, allowing people to charge their mobile phones whilst enjoying their favorite headline act at Glastonbury.
Usually found in modern hi-fi speakers, an A4 panel of the modified film is housed inside a t-shirt which then acts much like an oversized microphone by 'absorbing' invisible sound pressure waves. These sound waves are converted via the compression of interlaced quartz crystals into an electrical charge, which is fed into an integral reservoir battery that in turn charges most makes and models of mobile phone. As the 'device' is worn, a steady charge is able to be dispensed into the phone via a simple interchangeable lead which fits most handsets.
After a weekend at Glastonbury the Orange Sound Charge will almost certainly be in need of a good scrub, so the Piezoelectric film panel and electronics are all fully removable to enable the shirt to be washed.
The development team behind the device estimate that when used at the festival with sound levels of around 80dB (roughly the same as a busy street), the Orange Sound Charge will generate up to 6 watt hours (W/h) of power over the course of the weekend - enough to charge two standard mobile phones or one Smartphone. Of course festival goers will also be able to plug in their phone for a quick 'top up' charge whenever they need it.
Andrew Pearcey, Head of Sponsorship at Orange UK said: "In a vibrant festival environment such as Glastonbury, sound is such an obvious medium that it seemed like a natural fit to use it in the development of this year's prototype. Orange's commitment and ethos around innovation is as strong as ever and we envisage that this pioneering technology could really change the face of mobile charging in environments where eco charging solutions need to be found. It could even influence trends in fashion, with designers looking to integrate this passive charging solution into clothing."
Orange will also be conducting live testing on site at the festival to see which acts are the 'best to charge to' and the team will be testing the device throughout the weekend to advise festival goers on which acts will give your phone the quickest charge.
The Orange Sound Charge is the latest eco charging innovation in Orange's continued commitment to researching and developing alternative charging solutions. Previous projects have included 2010's Power Wellies (Power generating sole), winner of Time Magazine's '50 Best Inventions of 2010' which converted heat into current to keep people connected at last year's festival and the Dance Charger(Dance power for mobile phones) that drew upon kinetic energy to create power. The Orange Sound Charge is still in developmental stages.
Source and images: Orange