Scientists are now working on turning the human body into a power station that can act like a battery pack to run your laptop, as well as other appliances that you carry or wear. A pacemaker powered by the energy of your heartbeat could operate for a lifetime, and never need to be replace periodically, the way they do now.
Nanotechnology researchers are developing a "power shirt," woven from fibers that are coated with tiny strips of zinc oxide and gold. As you move, they rub against each other to produce a current. In the November 27th edition of the Telegraph, Roger Highfield quotes researcher Lin Wang as saying, "We could provide a flexible, foldable and wearable power source that, for example, would allow people to generate their own electrical current while walking."
And it won't just be "electric pants." Researcher Michele Pozzi has created an energy source that could power a satellite navigation device. Worn on the knee, it consists of an outer ring and central hub. As you walk, the ring rotates, generating electricity.
Researcher Steve Burrows has harnessed the up-and-down motion of walking to turn an electricity generator by placing a device in a shoe sole. By driving a salty liquid through microscopic pores in the sole, our footsteps can deliver up to two watts per leg,.
Highfield quotes researcher Laurie Winkless as saying, "Energy harvesting pots could mean that boiling your pasta charges your mobile phone. The vibrations of your washing machine could power wireless sensors--or your TV remote could be powered just by you pressing the buttons."
What's next? An apron made of power-conducting fibers that can turn on your microwave?
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