Right now wearables like smart clothing or smartwatches need batteries to run because where else would they get the energy, right? However, engineers at the University of California San Diego might have figured out a way to potentially get our devices to remain powered forever, thanks to human sweat.
The researchers have created a wearable device that when worn on the tip of a finger, can act as a source of power for other small electronics and sensors. The device generates small amounts of electricity through a person’s tweet or if it is pressed down on. As we are constantly sweating, this means that in theory, it could keep generating electricity forever (until it is removed or we die).
According to researcher Lu Yin, “Unlike other sweat-powered wearables, this one requires no exercise, no physical input from the wearer in order to be useful. This work is a step forward to making wearables more practical, convenient, and accessible for the everyday person.“ Based on their experiment, during a 10-hour sleep, it managed to generate 400 millijoules of energy, while casual typing and clicking on a mouse for an hour generated 30 million millijoules.
Right now the engineers are working on improving the device to make it more efficient and durable, so it could be a while before we actually see it used in products or other practical applications.