What if we all were just a fingertip away from fully charging our favourite electronic devices while we were sleeping?
Engineers from the University of California San Diego (UC San Diego) have developed a wearable device that can not only generate small amounts of electricity when a person’s finger sweats or presses on it, but also can do so if the user is asleep or sits still.
Worn on a fingertip, the thin, flexible strip is able to convert the chemicals found in human sweat into electrical energy.
The Band-Aid-like wearable is fitted with electrodes that absorb sweat and turns it into electricity.
As the user sweats or presses on the strip, the electrical energy gets stored in a tiny capacitor and can be discharged to other devices when needed.
The research has shown that during ten hours of sleep the device can collect almost 400 millijoules (0.000111111Wh) of energy – that is enough to power an electronic wristwatch for 24 hours.
Lu Yin, Nanoengineering Ph.D. Student at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, said: “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.”