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Thin film coating makes everlasting energy a piezoelectric possibility

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Let's be honest, it's no big secret that we're running out of dead dinosaurs to fuel our lives. And with recent natural catastrophes proving atomic energy isn't what you'd call 'safe,' it's a good thing the researchers down at the RMIT University in Melbourne have been hard at work figuring out how to turn you into a self-sustained energy source. Marrying piezoelectrics with a thin film microchip coating, those scientists Down Under have for the first time identified just how much energy your pressure can generate. This is certainly not the first time the tech has been put to use -- Orange UK's been doing something similar, albeit bulkier, for the Glastonbury fest each year. What are some practical uses, you ask? Imagine a gym powered by a sea of workout-hamsters, each producing significant energy from the soles of their feet. Curious for more? Try a pacemaker that runs solely on blood pressure, or a laptop charged by banging out Facebook updates. Who knows, maybe even RIM can put this to use in its next Storm. Just sayin'.

[Image courtesy Alberto Villarreal]

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