Wind-up cell phones are coming
March 13, 2009 Swiss watchmakers Ulysee Nardin have teamed up with European company SCI Innovations to develop the world’s first mechanical mobile phone, which utilizes the kinetic energy provided by a highly specialized Ulysse Nardin rotor.
Based on an automatic watch powered by its rotor, the "Chairman" contains an integrated battery that uses the kinetic energy provided by the rotor’s motion. There's not a great deal of detail available at this stage, but it seems that this energy is used to supplement the battery instead of replacing it completely. The Chairman also integrates the rotor into its design as well as its movement, with rotor visible through the back of the phone.
Historically Ulysse Nardin was best known for being a manufacturer of marine chronometers, but today the company produces complex mechanical watches which share elements with the Chairman including the emblematic anchor on its screw-down pushpiece as well as the specialized rotor.
There’s no word on a release date or price for the Ulysse Nardin Chairman yet and I’m guessing it won’t be cheap, but the prospect for this technology being taken up on a broader front is a promising one for wind-up fans like us here at Gizmag.