Nanotechnology can turn your jacket into a battery

There are certainly clothes and wires that can transmit electricity, but wouldn't it make sense if they could hold on to it as well? Researchers at the University of Central Florida certainly think so, since they've just developed technology that lets wires and threads store energy. Their approach sheathes the wire in nano-sized whiskers that, when treated, become electrodes; the sheath effectively becomes a supercapacitor that preserves energy without hurting electrical transmissions.

Although the process is currently handy for gadgets which need some kind of cabling, such as appliances and computers, it could also apply to fabric and other materials; your jacket could turn into a battery that keeps your phone charged without any significant bulk. Any commercial uses are still distant prospects, but there could be a time where you don't need external power packs to make it through a long day.

[Image credit: Joel Ryan/Invision/AP]