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Microwave Charging Device Harvests Power From Kitchen Appliance To Power Cell Phones, Other Electronics

If you find yourself invariably shackled just a few feet from a power outlet because your phone is always low on juice, wireless charging will sound like a godsend. Researchers in Tokyo are working on a way to wirelessly charge electronics, including cell phones, using energy harvested from microwave ovens.

Microwaves are a kind of electromagnetic radiation. They are used in a number of industries from communications to law enforcement, but most people are familiar with microwaves through the ubiquitous and eponymous kitchen appliance.

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While microwave ovens are designed to trap most of the electromagnetic radiation they give off, some of it is escapes into the environment. The amount of radiation released isn’t dangerous, because of U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, regulations. But it is still energy that could be put to better use.

Yoshihiro Kawahara, an Associate Professor in the department of information and communication at the University of Tokyo, and his team developed a small device that picks up energy leaked when the microwave is on. The device is the size of quarter and has a centimeter-long antenna for catching loose energy. It uses the microwave’s electromagnetic radiation to generate an electric current that is then sent to your electronic device.

According to Mashable, the small gadget collected enough energy after two-minutes in front of the microwave to power a few low-power kitchen tools like a cooking thermometer and a kitchen timer. But because microwaves are regulated to only allow a small amount of energy to leak from them, an amount “far below the level known to harm people,” it would take a href=””>


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