Here at Health Tech Insider, we cover a lot of energy technology stories. We do this, because the future success of wearable Health Tech devices requires that we get away from replacing batteries and plugging in to recharge. Like a $25 wrist watch that will keep accurate time for years without needing a battery, our wearable devices need to take care of themselves without us having to fuss over them every day.

That’s why this story out of Texas A&M is so interesting. It is not only about energy harvesting, but also about energy storage. Researchers at Texas A&M have developed a new plastic that generates electricity from heat. Ions naturally move from the hot side to the cool side of the material. What makes this material especially useful is that it also stores the electrical energy that it harvests from the heat. Acting as a supercapacitor, it can charge and discharge much faster than a typical battery while storing more energy than a typical capacitor.

The end result is a material that could be used to take body heat and convert it into electricity to power sensors, controllers, wireless transceivers, and other important wearable device components. The bonus is that it is a solid-state device; there are no parts to wear out. It will take time for this technology to make it out of the lab and into practical applications, but it is an exciting step.