Here's a brain bender: Korean scientists have developed a way to turn sound into energy. The idea is that such a system could be installed in a mobile phone and the phone could charge itself based on you talking into it, holding it up to traffic, or even playing music. I guess if your battery is really low, you could just sit there and scream your lungs out, which would be bad for society but potentially hilarious. Cuts both ways. From the Telegraph: The technology uses tiny strands of zinc oxide sandwiched between two electrodes. A sound absorbing pad on top vibrates when sound waves hit it, causing the tiny zinc oxide wires to compress and release. This movement generates an electrical current that can then be used to charge a battery.

Early tests have shown that it works but still doesn't produce much power. Scientists are working on modifying it and making improvements.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow John Moe at @johnmoe