Experts in the field of tech says energy harvesting for wearable technology is stepping up. We’re talking about tiny worn devices that won’t need batteries, thanks to these innovations.
Pictures a black circuitry pattern pealing off a second piece, with an intricate electronics pattern, which sits on a person’s skin.
The self-powering “electronic skin” is embedded with sensors to read and transmit health indicators like heart rate, body temperature, and blood sugar. This is what is common in wearable technology devices.
Wearable devices, like nearly every other piece of tech, need energy. It’s in the sun’s rays and radio waves, the skin’s sweat and body heat, a person’s motion and their footfalls.
Energy giveaways can be harvested to liberate wearables
Meanwhile, technology is maturing to the point that meaningful amounts of these energy giveaways can be harvested to liberate wearables from ever needing a battery. Tech mongers will love that.
These days, there’s a wide range of options to harvest enough micro-watts to replace wearables’ batteries. Among them are piezoelectric and tribo-electric generators, which leverage mechanical strain and materials’ electrostatic properties to generate electricity.
Caltech’s team has experimented with different forms of energy to harvest for powering its e-skin, including human sweat and friction of materials during movement.
California Institute of Technology’s Wei Gao developed a self-powering “electronic skin.” E-skin, he says, is a sensor-embedded device applied directly to skin to read and transmit health indicators like heart rate, body temperature, blood sugar, and metabolic byproducts.