Sony have invented a clever new way to wirelessly charge your phone by sucking power from nearby devices.
The Japanese technology giants patented technology that will test people’s generosity and friendships when it comes to sharing that most coveted modern commodity: battery life.
The idea allows phone users to hook up with local devices to transfer battery power from one phone to another.
The idea will employ Near-Field Communication (NFC) technology to allow users leech energy from a paired device.
NFC is currently used for things like contactless mobile payments and the transfer of data and files between devices.
As with other NFC transactions, devices would need to be within 1.6 inches of each other to ‘communicate’.
The patent, which was submitted on 2 March 2017, describes how both devices would need an NFC antenna to carry out the exchange.
The technology would also allow users with compatible phones to search for wireless power sources in much the same way that mobile users can search for open WiFi hotspots.
As the technology is still only at patent stage it is unknown what the battery transfer tech will actually look like. It’s expected that enabled devices would need two extra antennas, one for searching for power points and one for transferring charge.
Currently NFC is not known for being able to transfer power and there are questions as to how much energy it will actually cost a phone to perform the exchange.
It is entirely possible that this is an example of Sony future-proofing on the off chance that NFC technology moves in that direction.
It is also possible that they already working on a real plan to implement this technology into future phones.
Sony are also developing the battery transfer tech for their Internet of Things range, so power could be shared between household devices such as refrigerators, televisions and microwave ovens.