One of the biggest pain point with almost all wearable devices of today is poor battery backup. You head on for a morning walk wearing some cool smartwatch to keep a track on your calories-burnout, but by the time you reach back home – you find the watch literally dead.
To make your useful wearable even better, a team of researchers from KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) are making a tiny portable generator that can charge your wearable devices using your body heat, anywhere, anytime.
This will reportedly come out as a new light and flexible generator made out of thermoelectric (TE) substances printed on glass fabric. Until now, two types of TE generator developers are made out of either organic or inorganic material. The organic TE generators, which use polymers are highly flexible with human skin but have low power output. Inorganic based TE generator, on the other side produce high electrical energy, but are heavy and bulky. This creation claims to address both the issues.
Far from being the first TE generator available in the market, the team claims that this generator is one of the best portable generator so far and is extremely light, flexible and produces high amount of power with the kind of hardware it is made out of.
“For our case, the glass fabric itself serves as the upper and lower substrates of a TE generator, keeping the inorganic TE materials in between,” said Byung Jin Cho, professor of electrical engineering at KAIST, in the news release. “This is quite a revolutionary approach to design a generator. In so doing, we were able to significantly reduce the weight of our generator, which is an essential element for wearable electronics.”
Where this kind of technology – quite obviously – will take a long time to step into the real world, the team believes that this will not only change the future of wearable devices, but will also be change how we generate power in cars, airplanes and other vehicles today.
The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org