London (England) - UK mobile service provider Orange has announced it is working on a new cell phone charger powered entirely by wind.
Orange worked with the University of Texas at Arlington and alternative energy specialist Gotwind to create the device, which is essentially a miniature wind turbine.
The charger can store energy in a separate partition. When connected to a cell phone, the stored energy charges the battery. According to PC World, with a constant 12 MPH wind, it would take around 24 hours to charge an ordinary phone battery.
The device reportedly weighs about a third of a pound. Because of the small size, it is not a very effective wind power generator, but it could be very helpful in situations where no electrical outlet is available.
Solar-powered device chargers have been available for over a year, priced from around $40 - $100 for basic units. Other alternative power sources, like disposable pre-charged batteries and alkaline battery-based chargers have also made their way to cell phones. A joint venture between two Japanese firms is even working on a water-powered phone charger.
Orange has not announced any pricing or release date details on the Mobile Wind Charger.