Your body is using up energy every second you’re awake. Some of that energy is translated into your muscles moving, and some of it is lost as heat. Researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) have developed a wearable strip of material that can easily be woven into clothing and can convert your body heat into usable electric power. A thin strip about 4 inches in length can produce 40mW of power, which isn’t much, but is enough to power a semiconductor chip. Increase the strip to 20in.-40in. and suddenly you’re looking at 2W, which is enough to charge your phones or other electronics. The material is made from fibreglass, which makes it flexible, unlike current ceramic-based thermo-electric solutions. It’s also claimed it has a 14-fold efficiency improvement over other methods. According to Professor Jo Byeong-jin, the lead researcher, this technology could be commercialized within the next 2 to 3 years, pending “issues concerning element integration process optimization and mass-production.”
Gadget-charging jackets with thermo-electric strips woven into the sleeves? Yes, please!