While it actually is not coming "after" the sand technology but taking the limelight certainly after the sand-awesomeness did, which claimed that sand can triple the battery life of smartphones and other electronic gadgets. Scientists at MIT University have found a way to use the power of water dew to charge our phone. Unlike sand, it will not replace the current battery techniques but will be used as a good resource when out of charge especially in the remote areas.
Water dew for better battery life:
The research team at MIT discovered that the energy is generated when water condenses on the specially treated copper plates due to back and forth jumping movement. This movement allows picking up an electrical charge which can be used to charge the battery of smartphones.
This water dew battery power discovery was made earlier last year, however, scientists have now developed a way to harness that finding using superhydrophobic surfaces. Led by Nenad Milijkov, a device was made using interleaved flat metal plates to produce power from the water dew found in the air. The tests while produced very small amount of power - 15 picowatts; trillionths of a watt - the team says it can be easily tuned to produce at least a microwatt.
Water dew thus won't be able to replace our chargers or make the battery last longer - like the sand technique promises - however, it will be extremely useful especially in the remote localities without any power source available. This charger made to harness the power from water dew found in the air isn't likely to hit the consumer market any time soon, but it does open up a new thought process that could lead to other such possibilities. These efforts are all in a single process of using the natural resources for power consumption.
“Water will condense out from the atmosphere, it happens naturally. The atmosphere is a huge source of power, and all you need is a temperature difference between the air and the device." - Miljkovic.