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Something in the Air(nergy): RCA’s WiFi Charging Device. Remember when Nokia came up with the futuristic concept of cell phone batteries that charge via radio waves? Their particular form of charger-less charging wasn’t expected to be available until around 2012. At CES 2010 this month, RCA introduced something even better that’s going to be available way sooner: a dongle that tops up your mobile device’s battery via WiFi signals. Notice we didn’t say that it only tops up your cell phone battery; according to RCA reps, this little fella will work with just about all of your mobile devices. The attachment is efficient enough that it actually provides a noticeable boost to your battery, and given enough time it will charge it to the max.

Other similar gizmos have provided only a weak top-up charge at best, so this is a huge improvement. The future applications of the technology are exciting as well. Powerful Magic: Cell Phones Charge With Ambient Electricity. (image via: Inhabitat ) How annoying is it to run out of cell phone power when you’re nowhere near a charger? The Nokia Research Center is working on technology that would allow cell phones to draw juice from ambient radio waves, meaning that you’ll never again be without a charge. The ambient electromagnetic radiation that’s already being transmitted from TV, radio and cell phone towers can be converted into electrical current easily enough. It wouldn’t be enough to charge a dead battery quickly, but it would be enough to keep your phone’s battery topped up. If the concept sounds familiar to science geeks, it’s because Nikola Tesla had the same idea in 1893. (image via: Bock The Robber ) There are several obstacles to overcome in the development of the new cell phone charging technology.

Nikola Tesla. China's Green Beat - Wind Power in China. Bio mass fuel. Egyptian eco stories: biogas from kitchen scraps and environmentally friendly housing for the poor. Cairo, Egypt, photo by mshamma (source: Flickr Creative Commons) In a poor area of Cairo, Egypt, where ‘almost everything’ is reused and recycled, CNN visits one man’s home that is powered by gas from fermented kitchen waste.

Egyptian eco stories: biogas from kitchen scraps and environmentally friendly housing for the poor

The biogas unit – which also provides fertilizer – as well as a solar water heating system, were both built by the man himself. He is obviously as skillful as he is dedicated to self-sufficiency. In Africa's largest slum, a cooker that turns trash into fuel. Slum village puts trash to good use In Kibera, a low-tech project uses trash as a resource to produce heat for cookingLocal residents use Community Cooker to prepare meals and heat waterPeople deliver all sorts of garbage in exchange for cooking time Nairobi, Kenya (CNN) -- On the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya, mountains of trash are piling up along the dusty streets and footpaths of Africa's largest slum.

In Africa's largest slum, a cooker that turns trash into fuel

With local authorities not providing garbage collection in the area, tons of plastic bags, bottles and food waste form a distressing and harmful backdrop for the health of the thousands of people living in Kibera. But in the middle of it all, in the community of Laina Saba, a low-cost project, dubbed the Community Cooker, is helping to clean up the streets. Current Technology: Ocean Bot Runs on Geothermal Energy. Finding a natural, renewable, eco-friendly way to power machines is the holy grail of propulsion research. A team comprised of university researchers, NASA, and the US Navy recently unveiled an unmanned underwater vehicle that is powered entirely by geothermal energy.

The vehicle, called the Sounding Oceanographic Langranian Observer Thermal Recharging (SOLO-TREC) uses the ocean’s changing temperatures to generate power. Thanks to phase change materials which melt at higher temperatures and solidify at lower ones, pressure changes in the engine trigger a hydraulic motor that recharges the vehicle’s batteries. SOLO-TREC is an important breakthrough for marine biology, ocean exploration, and climate study. A vehicle that can continuously explore its surroundings without the constraints of an external (as opposed to environmental) fuel source has almost limitless applications.