Digital electronic wearable Health Tech devices need electricity to work their magic. This generally requires the use of batteries that have to be recharged or replaced periodically. But what if you could do away with the batteries (or come up with a way to keep them charged all the time)? That’s what energy harvesting is all about, such as using solar cells to scavenge energy from the ambient light in your environment.
Researchers from Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea have a different approach to harvesting energy for wearable devices. They have created a cloth that creates electricity as you move. They coated fibers with silver and combined them with zinc-oxide nanorods to create a flexible, foldable fabric. By using a four-layer stack of the material, they were able to generate an average of 170 volts and 120 uA. The cloth produced about the same power output over 12,000 cycles of applying a force.
This could easily be applied to clothing that generates power that can be stored and accessed by wearable devices. No mention was made of when this technology might become commercially available.