Team uses unused iPhone energy for case lights

April 30, 2014 by Nancy Owano weblog

(Phys.org) —The Lunecase is a more interesting departure from the run of the mill snap-on phone case as it has the distinction of sending off glowing alerts that feed off electromagnetic radiation; the alerts are fed by the electromagnetic energy sent out by the iPhone. Electromagnetic waves from around the phone power the notifications on the back of the case with the help of LEDs. You catch the glow when there is a call or a text message.

The cover harnesses the electromagnetic energy emitted by the iPhone and puts it to use for lighting up the indicators. The case is from the Kiev, Ukraine-based Concepter, which has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help the group sail into production phase, with an estimated delivery date of the cases in August this year. "We have mastered the art of gathering the iPhone's free energy and converting it into ."

Among the happy messages about this case is that, according to the team, (1) it works as soon as you snap it on and (2) no battery, no big deal. No batteries are involved at all, as the power comes straight off the phone's , enough to power the notification LEDs.

The case only operates on GSM networks, however; the case won't work on CDMA.

"There is so little electro-magnetic energy outside of modern smartphones that it seemed impossible to transform that energy into something useful. We have filled the Lunecase with the technology needed to capture and utilize these ," said the team.

With 36 days to go, at the time of this writing, they have attracted impressive numbers of pledges for their crowdfunding effort, with $72,088 pledged, surpassing their $50,000 goal. For $39, one gets the basic Lunecase for iPhone 5/5s in black or white. Estimated delivery is August.

(While the versions for the iPhone 5/5S and 5C are either black or white, the team said that after the campaign ends, they plan to issue a survey where people will be able to choose colors.)

Anticipating the most immediate questions, Concepter offered a FAQ list, including "Does it drain/charge the battery?" Their answer: "We've been testing the Lunecase prototypes for several months and didn't find any impact on iPhone battery level."

Explore further: Researchers devise a way to capture and release electromagnetic waves inside a metamaterial

More information: www.kickstarter.com/projects/concepter/lunecase-bring-the-back-of-your-iphone-to-life

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3 comments

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PPihkala
not rated yet Apr 30, 2014
Using this kind of case that sucks on the rf energy of the phone's transmission does make the phone to use more power during transmission to compensate. Therefore the user is exposed to higher fields and the battery will be draining faster.
Eikka
not rated yet May 01, 2014
This is as old as Nokia phones.

They used to sell stickers and keyrings and keychain toys with a built-in wire coil that would blink a LED on incoming calls to a nearby phone.

Flashing cellphone stickers are still sold everywhere online.
Eikka
not rated yet May 01, 2014
Using this kind of case that sucks on the rf energy of the phone's transmission does make the phone to use more power during transmission to compensate. Therefore the user is exposed to higher fields and the battery will be draining faster.


It only fully works during the handshake routine of the GSM network when the phone is at maximum output to answer the hail from the network. Once the actual data transmission starts, it drops down to lower power and the induced RF field is no longer sufficient to light the LED, so it stops draining power.

It doesn't work when the phone is operating in a 3G/4G network probably because the frequency is too high and the diodes in the circuit are too slow to rectify it into direct current, or because the newer networks use frequency hopping technology so it's impossible to tune a simple pickup coil efficiently.

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