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April 29, 2008

NOKIA DESIGN EVENT: Charging without waste

LONDON, England – Research shows that the majority of mobile users
charge their phone whilst they’re asleep. Given that a typical phone
charges in under an hour, and most people sleep between six and eight
hours, means that’s a lot of wasted energy.

With roughly a billion chargers in circulation, the motivation to create one that emits zero waste is huge.

Rhys Newman and the future product design team have produced nine prototype chargers which produce zero waste. Looking at the possibilities the team came up with three basic concepts.

The first uses a button to charge, so leaving it plugged in means it doesn’t draw power and the user needs to hit the (green) button to set the charge in motion. The second simply charges the device for one hour before switching itself off whilst the third concept actually has a conversation with the device, where the device lets the charger know when it needs power, and when it’s all done.

That last is the ultimate objective but the team still have a way to go to make it happen. Right now the first is real and working and, I hope, will see it’s way into production before too long. Meanwhile Newman and his team are using the chargers every day, living with them and learning from them so one day we can all reap the benefits.