We’ve all had those days: Forgot to plug the phone in, have to leave the house on 12%. That’s not a good feeling, because you’re sure that you might call yourself from the future with the winning Lotto numbers or something. Phone cases with battery packs can help with this but an outfit called Nikola Labs has a slightly different idea in mind.
Planned for a launch on Kickstarter soon is Nikola Labs’ as-yet unnamed iPhone case. Its aim is to prolong the life of your handset’s battery, which isn’t a new concept. But it’s how the case does so that’s a bit unusual.
The iPhone case will convince the iPhone to charge itself, which sounds a little like opening a crate with the crowbar trapped inside it but Nikola Labs thinks it’ll work. The case consists of an RF-harvesting antenna that will capture radio frequencies from the phone (which are generally lost) and convert them, by way of an RF to DC converter inside the case, to usable power.
Translation: The case will slowly extend your iPhone’s battery life by up to 30% by recapturing lost radio waves and sending them back inside the phone. A bit like the stillsuits from Frank Herbert’s Dune series, but for your phone. And it’ll do this without being as bulky as a battery-sporting case that performs similar functions.
Will it work as advertised? Well, one of the company’s founders is Dr. Rob Lee, formerly of the Ohio State Electrical and Computer Engineering department, so the science it probably sound. The question is: Will folks back it when it hits Kickstarter next month?