WICC NFC antenna and wireless charger adapter (via Duracell)
Some innovations are coming out that will let you recharge your mobile devices wirelessly and on-the-go. The first, announced by Duracell, is called the ‘PowerMat WICC’. The WICC is a super thin add in card (as well as a NFC antenna) that enables you to grab power wirelessly from any Duracell or its competitors charging mat. This technology is also combined with an app that helps you locate the nearest charging station in case you need a re-charge before your mobile device looses all power. Your phone will require an add-in plug (or specialized case) that is said to be "easily installed," otherwise just wait for your wireless provider to have them built in with future designs. Duracell is not releasing this add-in card anytime this year as the company is waiting for phone manufacturers to come on board with adopting the WICC specifications. My guess is that it will show up around, or after, the 2012 holiday season.
Corey Hewitt holding a piece of "Power Felt" (via Wake Forest University)
The next charging innovation needs to be ‘Felt’ rather than seen. This charger is known as ‘Power Felt’ and was designed by Wake Forest University graduate student Corey Hewitt. The two-inch piece of black fabric is comprised of carbon nano-tubes bound in plastic fibers and has thermoelectric properties that take body-heat and convert it into electrical energy. While this has potentially unlimited uses aside from mobile device charging, its not cost effective. Demand from leading electronic manufacturers is the only way for lowering the cost of the Power Felt (about $1,000 US per kilogram) and starting tech adoption by the industry. Still, Power Felt is indeed a novel approach in recharging mobile devices just by carrying it. No word on the exact figures of heat to energy conversion.
I like the direction that industry people are headed. Wireless charging and energy-scavenging are paramount features in the future of staying mobile.