Nikola Tesla, the father of AC electricity, pioneered the use of induction motors and electricity over wires. He also theorized and demonstrated the potential to transmit electrical power wirelessly – leading to a revolution in the development and use of radio transmissions. Now, a century after his discoveries, a commercially viable means of harvesting the ubiquitous resonant energy that surrounds us has appeared.
The announcement by Nikola Labs that they have invented an iPhone6 case that can harvest power by converting RF energy into useable power capable of increasing the battery life of iPhones by 30% should catch the attention of those in charge of keeping the military charged (forgive the pun).
Ground pounders live and die based on battery life. Batteries equal communications, which equals calls for fire, calls for support, and calls for MEDEVAC. The one mantra repeated by operators, required to carry their kit to and from an objective, is to make their communications gear smaller, lighter, and dependent on less energy. Capturing resonant RF energy and reusing it has the potential to be a game changer. No doubt any RTO or leader carrying a week’s worth of batteries on their back would greatly appreciate cutting that load by a third!
It may be time to start drafting some operational need statements!
Questions for you the readers:
1) What tactical battery kit have you found you would recommend to our readers?
2) If you had to choose between longer battery life or better systems to harvest energy (i.e. RF capture, solar, mechanical, etc.) what would you choose and why?
As always – the views in this piece are mine alone and do not represent the U.S. government, Department of Defense, United States Army, or any other organization with which I have had any association.