One of the most important thing that plagues the new society is gadgets of all shapes and sizes. Gadgets, that well require juice in their batteries to work. The problem with batteries would be that charging the batteries would still take some power from the grid. Now if it was the matrix, we could plug our bodies that generate 250 Btu/Hr (while sleeping and 400 Btu/Hr when awake), and convert that to energy to get rid of our dependence from the grid power. Unfortunately, we are not in the matrix and currently most of us still are plugged into the grid to power our devices.
The next revolution in electronics and personal computing would definitely come by with devices that are going to be powered out of something as simple as solar cells on our body, like the helmet that two Indian Engineering students came up with, or using the body heat that we generate or just using kinetic energy that we produce by moving, like the Eco Drive watch range form Citizen which is now getting duplicated by mostly all manufacturers.
I am sure major corporations are looking at this new opportunity to make mega bucks and try and innovate to make new devices for the next generation, but for the time being the people at the crux of the innovation turnaround in personal power for personal computing are small scattered group of people around the world. This post I want to highlight some of these innovations that might just be sold under a banner of a major corporation soon. Until then these free thinkers require all the exposure they need. This is my homage to those thinkers and innovators. So Let me cut to the chase, this months highlight for power to you are these innovative products.
Thermoelectric boots charge your mobile phone
European Telco Orange is showing off an interesting phone charging prototype – a set of Wellington Boots with a ‘power generating sole’ that converts heat from your feet into electrical power to charge your battery-powered handhelds. You’ll need to walk for twelve hours in your “Orange Power Wellies” to get an hour of battery life but we still think it’s remarkable that such significant amounts of energy can be harvested from normal human activity. In order to decrease the length of time you need to charge your phone, try dancing or running, because the hotter your feet get, the more energy you produce.
The “Orange Power Wellies” were created in collaboration with renewable energy experts GotWind, with the vision of keeping Glastonbury Festival goers connected with their friends during the event.
Corky the Kinetic Mouse
Wireless devices are the ones that are more dependent on battery power than wired ones, and with a device like the wireless mouse the situation is still worse, as its getting more popular. While an ordinary wireless mouse can use dozens of batteries in a year, this mouse generates its own power simply through the movement of the user’s hand.
Designer Adele Peters proposes capturing the energy from moving, clicking and scrolling and using it to power Corky, a kinetic mouse made from recycled materials.It was showcased in this years greener gadgets exhibition and was infact one of the finalists there. The eco-friendly peripheral has an element within the body to harvest energy from movement, a similar setup is fitted to the scroll wheel and a piezoelectric element stores energy from each click of the left and right buttons. As its name suggests, the outer shell is made from waterproofed recycled cork and all the plastics are from recycled stock too. Regional material sourcing and assembly and end of life recycling add more green points to its credentials.