Patents are always a great topic for debate. That is, not all of them ever come to fruition. This next one up is most strikingly interesting as it involves fuel cells. The idea is to place a fuel cell assembly between the keyboard and circuit board, whereby the keyboard allows for ventilation and a set key to ‘plunge’ the fuel cell tank. The formal wording from the patent:
A mobile device having: a keyboard; a printed circuit board having at least one contact responsive to the keyboard; and a fuel cell assembly having: a fuel cell located between the keyboard and the printed circuit board, the fuel cell having a membrane and at least one aperture corresponding with the at least one contact; a tank adapted to store a fuel for the fuel cell; and piping connecting the tank with the fuel cell, where the fuel cell ventilates through the keyboard. Alternatively, the fuel cell acts as the printed circuit board and at least one contact for the keyboard is printed onto the fuel cell.
I’ve been saying for a few years now that a mobile handset manufacturer needed to create a ‘perpetually charged battery’. Think of it like how a Rolex stays ticking. So that by having your device in your pocket or anywhere it would be in motion a charge would be generated. Nevertheless, this fuel cell idea sounds similar, minus the perpetual motion. It will be very interesting to see if RIM utilizes this technology in upcoming devices.