Thursday, July 20, 2006

Water powered mobile phone

NTT DoCoMo's direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) recharger last year wasn't a bad first effort, but how about shrinking it by a factor of four, doubling the output, and swapping methanol for water? That's what they've managed to do through a partnership with Aquafairy Co., pumping out a prototype polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) that rocks 800mAh at 3.6V -- enough juice to recharge your average FOMA handset in the same time as a wall wart. The new unit gets shown off this week at Wireless Japan 2006 with production plans slated for next year; availability outside Japan is (as usual) an open question, but with battery life falling to under a day on some modern smartphones, we can only hope manufacturers' hands are going to be forced on this one.

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