Twitching Fingers: The New Way to Recharge Batteries

Fidgeting will no longer be so easily frowned upon

By on November 20th, 2012 13:30 GMT

Static electricity is a funny thing. It gathers through the oddest of ways, like rubbing a balloon against one's hair. Researchers figured it was high time that energy was harnessed.

Their latest and most bizarre idea? Finger twitch-based battery recharging.

Not that twitchy fingers would be the only source. Essentially, researchers from Georga Tech theorized that the mechanical energy from any vibrations and larger movements could be converted into electricity by something like an armband made of a plastic and a metal layer (static energy is produced through their friction).

The band would be made of a special fabric involving about 50 common materials, with the charging area increased by patterning the surface on a nanoscale level. A 2 x 2 inch patch (50 x 50 mm) should be enough to restore the power to a cellphone battery.

Lab tests have shown the idea to be viable, although only 15% of the mechanical energy of body vibrations can be converted.

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