New technology to use body heat to power cellphones

May 02 2014, 19:16 IST
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SummaryThe small and flexible generator, made from glass and fabric, can be used to power up heart monitors, smart glasses and other wearable tech.

Scientists have devised new technology which generates electricity from body heat, allowing you to charge electronic devices on the go.

Professor Byung Jin Cho from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in South Korea is leading the team working on a thermoelectric (TE) generator.

The small and flexible generator, made from glass and fabric, can be used to power up heart monitors, smart glasses and other wearable tech.

"Mobile phones consume high electrical energy compared to electrical sensors. Right now we are trying to make a sample that provides electricity for medical sensors," Cho said.

"After that, smartphones will be the next application of the TE generator," Cho added.

The device uses the the small but significant temperature difference between skin and air to create power.

So far only two types of TE generators have been developed, based either on organic or inorganic materials, 'The Daily Express' reported.

Cho said his technology, which minimises thermal energy loss but maximises power output, combines the best of both organic and inorganic tech.

"This is quite a revolutionary approach to design a generator. In so doing, we were able to significantly reduce the weight of our generator, which is an essential element for wearable electronics," Cho added.

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