Alright, alright, alright! This is not how I imagined it’d start the day, but here we go…
- Use human sweat to generate energy
- Be more efficient than previously discovered tech
- Continuously harvest energy while you are sleeping – without any activity
- Power devices with dedicated displays and processors
The developed biofuel cell can generate ∼400 mJ/cm2 energy over 10 hours (during sleep) and can be used to power devices used for environmental monitoring or personal wellness, but also simply wearable electronics.
The more intriguing part is that the above-mentioned data is based on “sleeping” or inactive state. To make the most out of the devices, the engineers have installed additional piezoelectric generators under the biofuel cell to further push the generating of mechanical energy from finger presses.
Even then, is this realistic? No. It would take about 10,000 hours to charge one AirPod (not both!), and that’s if the tech is 100% effective. The biocompatible energy-harvesting technology has great potential for establishing self-sustainable, reliable, and independent next-generation epidermal electronics systems for tracking healthcare and wellness. However, it would need some real magic to be sufficient enough to charge more power-hungry devices.
In case you though: “But how would I wear it?”. Of course, you won’t be wearing the sensors on your fingers like a walking human experiment. The eventual goal is to integrate the tech into things like gloves.
The scientists’ aim is that the wearable device will feel natural enough so you don’t have to think about it. It’s a very Apple-like idea, which is why it might be of interest to the Cupertino-based company.
Companies like Apple, Samsung, and Huawei have a strong focus on consumer wearables which let the users monitor their health. Clearly, the investment in this sector is only going to grow, since society is becoming more obsessed with smart devices, and in the same time with tracking personal wellness.
Would this newly-developed technology be enough to charge a smartphone? Perhaps – if you are very active, and you… press things?! The fingertip positioning isn’t a coincidence. It’s said that fingertips have the highest concentration of sweat glands compared to any other part of the human body.
Mind you – not the sweatiest part of your body, but the one with the highest concentration of sweat-generating sweat glands. We all know which the sweatiest parts of the body are. They probably won’t be the most practical place to keep any kind of tech…
In conclusion – in case you didn’t realize – this is a truly breakthrough discovery, which has the potential to change the way we use our smart devices forever! Now, will it do it? We have to wait and find out.
Meanwhile, why don’t you start practicing on the djembe? Well, probably after you Google it to see what it looks like…