Powering up mobile phones with our body heat – hot new move

Powering up mobile phones with our body heat – hot new move

Powering up mobile phones with our body heat – hot new move

Written by Bella Dalima

03 May, 2014 | 3:44 pm

Technology that could one day power your smartphone using just body heat has been developed.

Wearable computers or devices have been hailed as the next generation of mobile electronic gadgets, but finding a way to deliver sufficient, long-lasting power has been a problem.

Now scientists have come up with a novel solution using a glass and fabric-based thermo-electric generator that could spell a new age of discreet smart technology.

A team of researchers at KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology University) in South Korea headed by Professor Cho of electrical engineering are behind the innovation.
Professor Byung Jin Cho with his team created a flexible thermoelectric (TE) generator that allows you to recharge electronic devices from your own body heat.
phone device

The device is suitable for recharging heart monitors, smart-glasses and other wearable technology, experts claim.

A thermoelectric generator is a device that can convert heat, or a temperature difference, into electric energy.

Using the small but significant temperature difference between skin and air, Professor Cho and his team have been able to produce this tiny and wearable thermoelectric generator.

For electronics to be worn by a user, they must be light, flexible, and equipped with a power source, which could be a portable, long-lasting battery or a generator.

KAIST’s generator is extremely light and flexible and produces electricity from the heat of the human body.

Professor Cho confirmed that the generator could also charge smartphones.

‘Right now we are trying to make a sample that provides electricity for medical sensors,’ he says.

‘After that, smartphones will be next application of the TE generator.’

It is so flexible that it can be bent almost in a complete circle, and there are no changes in performance even if the generator bends upward and downward for up to 120 cycles.

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