Keeping your phone fully charged in a day is a challenge. The battery life on these things can really be pathetic. A group of researchers are developing a new type of material that will constantly top up the charge as your phone gets moved and jostled around, while you drive.

Dr. Xudong Wang at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, in collaboration with Sun Yat-sen University in China, developed a material that is able to turn small levels of vibrational energy into electricity.

Their mesoporous piezoelectric nanogenerator uses the piezoelectric properties of polyvinylidene fluoride to generate enough power to trickle charge small electronic devices such as smartphones. It is most effective in a steady source of vibration such as a moving car.

Dr. Wang says that this energy harvesting layer can be built into the structure of the phone itself. Alternatively, it could be attached externally. Either way, it may seem that driving on our roads because we've got so many damn potholes could keep our phones charged to the fullest.

Will this ever hit the market?

[University of Wisconsin, via Crazy Engineers]