Nokia plays with lightning to charge a Lumia 925 Windows Phone in seconds

Lumia 925

Nokia has been playing with the wireless transfer of energy and mobile phones since the Lumia 920, which was the first Windows Phone to feature wireless charging - a cool concept that's incredibly useful in the field. But what if you could go one step further and charge your phone with lightning? Nokia has teamed up with the University of Southampton to achieve just that. 

Harnessing hundreds of thousands of volts, the teams attempted to tame the (in this case, simulated) natural force and managed to successfully charge a Nokia Windows Phone - the Lumia 925. Inviting Neil Palmer, a scientist at the University, it was possible to power the smartphone with the tools available. Palmer explains:

"We were excited by this challenge presented to us by Nokia. Using an alternating current, driven by a transformer, over 200,000 volts was sent across a 300mm gap – giving heat and light similar to that of a lightning bolt. The signal was then stepped into a second controlling transformer, allowing us to charge the phone."

So what was the end result? They were able to charge the handset in seconds. Imagine that, your phone has just ran out of juice, but fear not as you could whip up a bolt of lightning and you're done in a few seconds. Neil notes how the team was amazed to see how Nokia's circuitry was able to stabilise the noisy signal and allowed the battery to draw charge.

What's more is the current was passed through the air, helping the team to understand how the energy could potentially be harnessed in future. Nokia never fails to show exactly how the company is looking to push boundaries to innovate and try out new things. On a rather obvious note, Nokia recommends that you do not try this at home.

Source: Nokia Conversations


Reader comments

Nokia plays with lightning to charge a Lumia 925 Windows Phone in seconds


Reminds me of an Avengers scene, Iron Man vs Thor, when Thor sends a lightning attack to Stark, and then JARVIS was like "Power at 400% capacity" LOL

It would be fun to have an instant charge capability when others would be searching for an external charging unit or a power point.

I'm happy to just sit here and read the humor from these comments. You guys are cool. Go Avengers! Thanks Nokia for making my investment worth while. I'm three Lumia devices in at the moment.

This is a tremendous success! Sure it's impractical now but with some tweaking and developing... True wireless power transfer isn't that far after all. :)

Yes, technically, inductive is wireless. But the point-blank restriction is not practical. It's different with sending power over the air a.k.a OTA Charging (ok, I made up this term, but it will be cool if it's working). The problem with OTA charging is safety concern. Whether it will be safe for people around it or not.

Sadly, Apple will introduce this tech in their products three years later, and people will be convinced that Apple invented it.

Was thinking the same, the R & D will remain with Nokia , ........Device & service under Microsoft   and then both wont work together

Being as I'm a Southampton University old boy, nice to know we still have it. So, in future Nokisoft phones there'll be a bit of British knowhow in there with the Finnish and US gubbinry. Cool.

1.21 Gigawatts!!!!!! Now if they could just figure out how to get the Flux Capacitor into my Lumia..then we'd be talking!!! :)

Chances are though, they burned out a ton of Lithium cells in doing so. The same goes for all of those "quick charge" capabilities you see in laptops. Yeah, it change your battery to 80% capacity in half an hour, but it does so at a reduced lifespan for your battery.

Debbie Downer, thanks for that.

Do you know how much work went into your bowl of Wheaties this morning and how many children's lives were indirectly impacted that will never achieve their full life potential due to substandard working conditions faced by their parents?

Or ...Lightening! We harnessed freaking lighting!

Yeah, you're right❕.. That's where new battery technology will have to come into place.. That's exactly what I was thinking to.. How in the world can a conventional 925 take that amount of charge so quickly❔ I wish we could get more details on exactly what happened.. Either way, I'm sure Nokia, with the help of others, can figure this whole thing out for more practical applications, but as far as mindless WP fan boys go,,, let's not start claiming this as a win for WP Just yet without being realistic...

You need to think about Samsung as a company in whole.. Do you realize how much innovation this company has given the world❔... I'm a WP fan to the fullest, but I'm realistic, an humble... Nokia isn't the only company working on future technology...

Very true, Samsung is up front and center in many aspects of technology. Including the screens we use, or may use in the near future. They just released the blue prints to a new tech that will replace our BSI sensors in camera phones. And they have innovated in the actual manufacturing of phone parts for some time now too, I just found out Apples 64-bit chips are built by Samsung manufacturing lol which I giggled at.

Anywho, we all win in the end :)

Sure, but are they charging their phones through lightening? Ya, thought not. I think Rodney loves Samsung's refrigerator line.

They do make some damn good refrigerators, and ranges... Ask NIST mom,, because she was at my house this morning cooking me breakfast...

Yes, Samsung innovates a lot if our smartphone technology.. They even work with other companies on new technology.. You'd be surprised what goes on behind the scenes..

Don't forget, everyone, that high voltage does not necessarily mean high power output. After all, those shocks you got off old CRT screens were in the region of 10,000V...

This is probably closer to the shock you'd get from INSIDE the old crt monitors. I'm guessing there was some decent amperage here as well.

That's cool, but the fundamental challenge is not being able to charge batteries quickly, it's doing so without dramatically shortening battery life. Li-ion batteries in particular don't respond well to this. It's why car companies like Tesla warn owners not to use fast charging stations on a regular basis.

Yes, but wonder if a graphene battery or other material did respond well? That they were able to step down the voltage from 200,000 volts itself is very impressive.

Imagine if Nikola Tesla idea for wireless high voltage energy had succeeded. Nokia... Nikola.. Hm interesting.

These guys give us (useful) innovations and it's a shame that the world does not notice that.

Apple calls one of theirs a lightning port. Oh yeah, prove it! You go Nokia!!! Now we can see where the future of Nokia Technologies is going. Time to invest in their stock. I see every automaker building battery powered cars as this tech becomes mainstream and safe.

True inspiration came from the Avengers movie when Thor fired lightning at Iron Man and accidently charged up his suit.

Whatever happened to that Nokia research project that managed to get a current from all the exisiting EMR flying around us everyday everywhere.  They said they would use that tech to constantly charge batteries.  It's been a few years, I was hoping to hear something about that by now.  Imagine a battery that charges itself just by existing in our world.