In the near future, you will be capable of charging your electronic devices on the go because you can make your power walk generate actual power by using an MIT-created wearable that converts small movements into electricity. It’s safe to say that by applying this technology to wearable fitness bands, smartwatches or even smartphones, events like running back home in order to charge your device will be a thing of the past, although you will still be required to run. Just the socket part of the phenomenon will be erased.
This device works in a similar manner to that of a lithium-ion battery. The only difference is that this new battery gets charged through the absorption of body movements that get directly converted into electricity. The process of constructing this new device is made possible by applying two layers of lithium alloy around a core made out of a porous polymer that is saturated with liquid electrolytes.
By bending the two sheets, pressure forces one lithium ion from a layer to pass through the core onto the other layer, generating voltage when traveling through the polymer. Besides being extremely flexible, this battery is also relatively cheap to manufacture, rising its viability towards its eventual commercialization in the form of batteries for fitness bands or other similar wearable devices.
Because this device is not limited by the second law of thermodynamics, the research team behind the device’s development has stated that by using further advancements in technology, the battery’s efficiency can easily reach 100%. The law in question states that by using more and more energy, less of it gets transformed. This is why batteries can only last for a couple of hours after prolonged use, even if at first they lasted for days.
But it is worth noting that at this point, the newly developed device is only capable of generating 15% out of the stored energy. Nonetheless, this will more than likely change in the near future, the process being sped up even further if a new breakthrough is achieved along the way.
In regards to the commercial use of the battery, the main side of the market which will be approached will be the one revolving around wearable technology. Although one would be required to undergo true fitness workouts if they wish to fully charge their device, this will not be a problem at all for those who enjoy these types of activities, as well as athletes.
Massive industrial facilities may benefit from this type of electricity generator as well if their mechanical systems move in a continuous manner. Eventually, self-sustainable machinery will become a reality, being completely cut off from the power grid. But this may be seen as a potential threat by utility providers that have already attacked other renewable energy producers like solar energy businesses.
When you will be able to make your power walk generate actual power by using an MIT-created wearable, only time can tell. But chances that this will be hitting the markets in the next few years get significantly increased if several gigantic companies, like LG or Samsung that dabble in the wearable device markets, invest towards this new type of technology. The general public will just have to wait and see if the first steps towards a motion-based electricity-generating battery will actually amass to a commercially available product.