In recent years, we could experience a massive boom in the development of wearable technologies. Many researchers and different companies have come up with unique technologies in wearable devices. Last year, we saw Sony launch a wearable AC to beat the summer heat. And just recently, a new wearable was developed that can inform an employer about his/ her employees’ moods and mental state. Now, researchers have come up with a tiny wearable device that can essentially turn a human body into a biological battery to juice up electronic devices.
University of Colorado Boulder researchers developed a new type of device that attaches to a human body in the form of a bracelet or a ring and converts body heat into electrical power. Initially, the project was started by the researchers based on one question, which is – Can they convert the body heat of humans into electrical energy to power electronic devices? It finally turned out, they can do that using something called Thermoelectric Generators (TEGs).
Now, what are TEGs? TEGs are these small conversion catalysts that can turn the body heat of humans into electrical energy. These solid-state devices perform the task via a phenomenon dubbed the See beck effect. To actually put these on human skin, the researchers needed them to be stretchable and, more importantly flexible. So, using the TEGs, the research team came up with an appropriate device that a user can wear as a bracelet or a very techie ring.
This very device named as Soft Motherboard-rigid plugin module (SOM-RIP), will attach to your skin and convert your body-heat into electrical energy to power small electronic devices. The researchers have high hopes for this device and they believe that it has a lot of potential going into the future, nevertheless the device is still in its ideation and concept state.
Another unique feature of this TEG-based device is that it can heal itself when damaged and is completely recyclable, apart from converting body heat into electrical energy. The device is also made customizable as users will be able to connect smaller units of the device with each other to create a large structure with more power.
Although the device is in its very early stages, but the research team expects that its device would be commercially available in the market within the next 5-10 years. If this is actually made possible then we will not be needing any charging adapter or a wireless charger to juice up our electronic devices.