Latest in Science

Image credit:

Skin patch turns friction into electricity to power wearables

Mariella Moon, @mariella_moon
January 29, 2015
164 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Until we find that perfect technology to power wearables with our own bodies, scientists all over the world are going to keep developing possible candidates. A team from the National University of Singapore, for instance, has developed a flexible, postage-sized device that can convert static electricity into usable energy. One surface of the device is attached to the skin, while the other is covered in silicon with a gold film underneath. Sandwiched in between the two are tiny pillars of silicone rubber -- slimmer pillars lead to bigger output, since they allow a larger surface area to touch the skin.

The group presented their findings at the 2015 IEEE MEMS conference last week, as well as demonstrated how much electricity the device can produce. After attaching the patch to one's forearm and then to one's throat, they found that clenching your fist and talking generate 7.3 and 7.5 volts, respectively. Tapping it with a finger, though, produces 90 volts or enough energy to power several commercial LED lights. The team plans to make their creation even more flexible in the future, so that they can create one in any size and still confirm to the contours of the human body. They'll find that they have a lot of competition from all over the world, though, such as those researchers who developed a tattoo that converts sweat into electricity and those who created a headset that turns a person's jaws into a power plant.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
164 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's 2020 Back-to-School Guide

Engadget's 2020 Back-to-School Guide

View
Space Force official logo and motto unveiled

Space Force official logo and motto unveiled

View
Our readers get real about their issues with the AirPods Pro

Our readers get real about their issues with the AirPods Pro

View
Disney has no idea what it's doing with 'Mulan'

Disney has no idea what it's doing with 'Mulan'

View
Facebook repeatedly overruled fact checkers in favor of conservatives

Facebook repeatedly overruled fact checkers in favor of conservatives

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr