Juicing Up Your Mobile Devices with Human Movement — the Future of Mobile Power?

August 26, 2011
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Mobile devices have become integral elements in our daily lives. We use them to do practically anything these days. Those, in conjunction with better connectivity technologies like 4G, allow people to stay on the move while they go about their daily business.

It’s hard to argue that mobile devices aren’t a necessity these days, for they can do so much. Whether you want to do a reverse phone lookup or browse through apps or find the best deals for a product, you can do it all from the comfort of your hand. Yet, there’s one very crucial element that most people don’t give a lot of thought to–the battery powering all of the mobile tech that’s becoming an increasingly important part of everyone’s lives.

With all of our energy sources, human beings are still one of the best sources of power in nature, and this idea is being echoed in the research article “Nature Communications.” The article explains that the average person, while sprinting, can produce as much as a kilowatt of power. This amount of energy would be more than enough to power the standard mobile device that people currently use.

We use mobile gizmos and typically charge them through our computers or plug them into the wall, but very soon we might be able to totally disconnect from fixed power sources as technologists and researchers are working on ways to harness the power of kinetic movement. Truly, this seems like it’s going to be the next big technological advancement.

All over the world, different companies are currently developing different forms of movement-based power sources. Nanotechnology is one front getting a lot of attention, but practical application is still several years away.

Researchers in the U.S. are currently developing a way for people to power their devices through walking. Users would be able to generate electricity from simple motion. This approach wouldn’t be self-contained within the device that’s being used, but would, instead, be placed in the shoe of the user. The energy-capture device would be able to harness energy from moving micro droplets inside your shoe and then convert the energy into an electrical current. This tech is already being used in some smaller devices like watches and sensors, but this would be a whole new approach.

Similar powering devices already exist, but until now, their practical use hasn’t been available. It’s believed that the implementation of this power-generating device could be seen in the market in the very near future.

It’s likely that as touch-enabled devices take the forefront of development, we’re going to see significant changes as companies aggressively research to find the best way to power our devices of the future. Hopefully this will lead us to a society that can finally become totally unplugged.

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