By WGSN Newsteam, 21 September 2011
A team of Latvian scientists have developed a prototype jacket embedded with a new technology that uses body movement to generate enough electricity to power electronic gadgets.
The scientists at claim that their innovation uses a reduced wire coil in the sleeves of the jacket which allows electromagnetic induction to generate electricity from the wearer's motion, Deutsche Welle reported.
Some 16 interconnected 1.5cm coils and a microelectronic transformer are placed either side of the jacket with magnets placed at the end of the sleeve. “[Enabling] the natural motions of our hand movements to be transformed into electrical energy,” said Juris Blums, a physicist on the team.
According to Blums, the average person's walking speed is around five km per hour, meaning that a pedestrian can generate 200 to 300 microwatts every 60 minutes, enough to power an iPhone in several hours.
“The more coils there are the faster the jacket can produce electricity”, he added. But there are limitations, since too many coils will start to deform the cloth.
One alternative is to adapt the coils into decorative features of the clothing. “[It] can be hidden in a crocheted apple or in a star made using different embroidery techniques,” said Aumsa Vilumsone, a textile professor at the University, who is also involved in the project.
The team said it would need at least a year before it is released as a commercial product as they are currently researching ways to make the design airtight, which would make the technology water-resistant and the garment washable.
They are also exploring military applications which could potentially allow soldiers to “go into the field without the added weight of rechargeable batteries”.
I like the idea of recharging his ipod am! Finally, I will not have this problem .... However, this will be even better for the environment!