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Body Powered Batteries -- Thermoelectrics

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the your-body-is-your-dynamo dept.

Technology 309

An Anonymous Coward writes: "According to this story on Yahoo, the folks at Applied Digital Solutions have "developed a miniaturized thermoelectric generator -- a half-inch diameter ceramic-based `battery' that converts low gradient body heat flow into electrical power." Right now they can power watches or small medical devices. How long before these things can power my handheld?"

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309 comments

I know I didn't make it (-1)

Sunken Kursk (518450) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374922)

But damn it, I tried.

Mad propz to the one that did

Just call me "Coppertop" (2, Funny)

WinDoze (52234) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374926)

It's the first step towards "The Matrix", I'm warning you!

Re:Just call me "Coppertop" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2374998)

Wow- they even invented a new unit of electrical current: the micron!

Re:Just call me "Coppertop" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2375155)

That's better than Battlestar Galactica where the Centon was the unit of measure for everything.

forget the palm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2374927)

how long before this can power yo momma fool...

Ok, do the math.... (-1)

Smack_Poo (167084) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374936)

You managed to gather an infinite number
of immortal monkeys and an equal number of typewriters and paper. They
start pounding away at the keyboards. Eventually, a monkey will produce
the script for Shakespeare's "Hamlet".
Now the deep thought begins:
Since there are an infinite number of monkeys, more
than one monkey will write the script. Since there is an infinite number
of monkeys, an infinite number of monkeys will write "Hamlet". Probability
dictates, with a finite number of monkeys, that there are going to be more
monkeys that don't write "Hamlet" than monkeys that do. But since we are
dealing with infinite numbers, things can get "icky". Say X represents
the total number of monkeys. X is an infinite number. Y represents the
number of monkeys that write "Hamlet". Since X is infinite, Y is also infinite.
However Y is less than Z, the number of monkeys that don't write "Hamlet".
Therefore X = Y + Z.
To make things complicated, since you are dealing
with an infinite number of monkeys, chances are one - therefore an infinite
number - monkey has already had access to a typewriter and wrote "Hamlet",
"Macbeth" and "Romeo and Juliet"

But what I want to know... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2375100)

is who's gonna clean up all this goddamned monkey shit?!!!!

how long... (0, Funny)

motherfuckin_spork (446610) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374944)

until your car can be powered by an anal probe...

Re:how long... (-1)

Smack_Poo (167084) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374970)

You need some fucking help. I have to admit I laughed out loud. A coworker wanted to know what was so funny, I don't think I can share this with her.

Better question. (2, Insightful)

jiheison (468171) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374945)

How soon before this technology is co-opted and run into the ground by manufacturers of existing energy technology?

So where do you put it (2, Funny)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374951)

I hope it's not where I'm thinking, like how they used to take your temperature as a kid.

yAH! (3, Funny)

davey23sol (462701) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374955)

Now your sexual escapades can create REAL electricity.

ha cha!
(I doubt this comments applies to any of us...)

Re:yAH! (1)

blackbeaktux (525688) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375110)

>Now your sexual escapades can create REAL electricity.

It adds a whole new meaning to the term "discharge" doesn't it?

Matrix (5, Funny)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374956)

Now, isn't this how the Matrix started? All these watches and Palm Pilots trying to take over the human bodies for more warmth, covering people at night like kittens on your bed? I can see it now:

The Future:
People walk down the streets, scurrying between allyways, keeping out of the light. One man stands in the middle of the street, trying to grasp a piece of cheese left in the alley.

Before suddenly, he is swarmed by little Palm Pilots, hurtling down the street like killer bees.

Trinity: Run, Neo! Those are the ones with the ARM processors! They need even more body heat than the old Dragonball ones! And - *gasp in horror* they have wireless antennaes!

The last thing we hear is one quick "Woah", then the sounds of millions of AvantGo processes launching.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Re:Matrix (1)

jester-tx (170962) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375065)

That was the first things that popped into my mind.

AI1 to AI2:

"Hey, it says that humans make pretty decent batteries.."

"Wow - maybe we should stop exterminating them and start *farming* them instead.."

"Hmmmm..."

The big question... (4, Insightful)

n8willis (54297) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374957)

...is storage.

What happens when you take your wristwatch off for 8 to 10 hours? Sure, generating electricity from body heat is fine when its a pacemaker... take that off and you're likely going to miss it before the eight hour mark.


Nate

Re:The big question... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2374984)

seiko has a bunch of kinetic watches that go into a low power mode when they stop moving. The hands freeze, but time is still kept. when it realizes that it is being moved again, it puts the hands in the correct place and continues on it's way. I believe the latest ones will keep time for up to a year without movement.

Re:The big question... (1)

meatspray (59961) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374997)

no no no, that's why the company will sell you a low grade bed side heater box than you put all your goodies in.

think ways to get you to spend $$ if you don;t have to feed it batteries.

Re:The big question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2375066)

like that hasn't happened already! [watchwinders.com] But where do you get the idea that you'll be saving money?

WHY?!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2375143)

Ok, I can understand how some avid lunatic collector could have many kinetic watches that he doesn't regularly wear.

What booggles the mind is the description of the automatic winder where it says each watch has a seperate motor. Is that for redundancy? So that if one motor fails, only one watch is wrong?!!

I guess they had to do something to justify the $4999 price tag.

MRAM (2)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375055)

IBM is already working on a magnetic form of RAM called MRAM which won't need a constant flow of electricity to store information. I'm not sure if or how it would be used in such PDA's but it's a possibility.

http://www.almaden.ibm.com/st/projects/magneto/m ra m/

Re:The big question... (2)

[amorphis] (45762) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375080)

Existing "automatic" mechanical watches generate energy with an eccentric rotor, and store it using a spring. I don't see why the same tried and true storage can't be used.

Re:The big question... (1)

progbuc (461388) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375168)

i don't think that would be a problem. there are already watches that generate energy from body movement and they are fine even if left off for days.

Well, look at it this way (0)

Leven Valera (127099) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374958)

With all the friction from the fur, the Energizer bunny truly will keep going and going.

I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.

cool... a year ago!! (1)

edrugtrader (442064) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374963)

they have had this kind of stuff for watches for a long time.

you will not be able to power your handheld unless it is somehow connected to your skin... and it probably still wont work unless you are soaked and holding a bare electrical cord.

Re:cool... a year ago!! (2)

turbine216 (458014) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375007)

thermoelectric batteries are totally new...
You're talking about kineto-electric batteries - the ones that charge when you shake them or otherwise move them about.

Portable vibrators... (2, Funny)

FatSean (18753) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374964)

Now you can pleasure yourself with no physical motion, nor any batteries to change!

Just wondering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2374965)

how long til I can have it powering my dildo 24/7?

other factors? (1, Redundant)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374968)

I dunno about you, but I don't sleep with my watch on, nor do I wear one in the shower. Does it store energy very well? What about outside tempature fluctuation? How well does it handle in the winter? Does the amount of fat on your arm matter?

Re:other factors? (1)

Montag2k (459573) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375186)

The Seiko Kinetic watch that I have has worked for up to 3 weeks after I wore it last. That being said, the energy required to make the little hands go around a watch is nothing compared to the energy required to make an artificial heart beat.

microns? (5, Informative)

egomaniac (105476) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374975)

I assumed the release was just written by a clueless person when I saw "10 micron amps". Poor fool just meant "10 microamps".

Then later down I see a quote by the *chief scientist* saying that they plan to develop a battery "capable of generating 3 volts of electricity with 10 microns".

Maybe I'm just an idiot, but the only definition I know of "micron" is a unit of linear measure. I have no idea how this would relate to anything electrical. I'm still cautiously assuming they meant "microamps", but does anyone have any other ideas?

Re:microns? (2)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374999)

maby 3 volts with 10 microns of serface area? Dunno how feasable that is, but thats how I read it.

Re:microns? (2)

egomaniac (105476) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375035)

I had similar thoughts, but a micron is a one-dimensional measure. Certainly couldn't be measuring surface area, let alone volume, and 10 microns is *really* small for a device like this in any case.

It mainly scares me because this is a press release, rather than an article, and the quote is by their *chief scientist* who hopefully should know better. You'd think a press release would get proofread, but maybe not...

Re:microns? (1)

displacer (136053) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375022)

Probably just misquoted by a tech-clueless reporter. They should have said microamps like you stated.

Re:microns? (1)

egomaniac (105476) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375053)

Check the article: "SOURCE: Applied Digital Solutions, Inc."

That's right, this is not a Yahoo article, despite what the Slashdot summary says. It's a press release by the company in question. It really scares me to see glaring, repeated factual inaccuracies in press releases by tech companies...

Re:microns? (1)

taniwha (70410) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375127)

Probably some pr-flack's spellcheck program has "micron" in it but not "micro-amp"

Re:microns? (2)

dragons_flight (515217) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375181)

Well it is written that way on the press release [adsx.com] on their website as well.

I thought perhaps it was just a different meaning for "micron" that I had never heard before, but a quick search on google for "micron amps" [google.com] turns up no relevant references. More than likely, some clueless PR person "corrected" the what the scientists had given him.

Of course, as important as this is you'd think they'd have one of the developers check the final draft of the release, but guess not. Technical illiteracy strikes again.

Micron-amps? (1)

Goldenhawk (242867) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374978)

You have to wonder about the technical insight of the company, when their own press release (this IS a press release, not a news story, after all) when they report "1.5 volts of electricity with 10 micron amps". Is that a "microamp"? Next time, folks, let's get the spelling and grammar straight before you talk to the world.

Re:Micron-amps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2375071)

I take it you have never seen PR folks "fix" the grammar and spelling of things they get from the "nerds"? With experience you will develop a different first guess when you read things like this.

Self contained artificial organs, cobber! (5, Interesting)

TaleSpinner (96034) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374981)

How long before these things can power my
handheld?



Screw that. How long before they can power an
artificial heart!?



A completely self-contained, reliable, artifical
heart available off-the-shelf and requiring no
external battery pack or management would be a
sea change in modern medicine. Jean-Luc Picard
lives! Wonder what brand he uses?

Re:Self contained artificial organs, cobber! (2)

garcia (6573) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375107)

obviously nothing of this solar system. Who in their right mind would buy anything from Earth? You want to goto the Blahblah galaxy and get all your hardware there. They are known for their blahblahs and blah.

:)

Forgot the 2nd law (1)

orionpi (318587) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375128)

Any heat engine needs a place to sink the extra heat. The energy comes from the transfer of heat, in the direction that increases the entropy of the system. Otherwise it it propetual motion. delta T inside the body is low, maybe if they attached a large heatsink to your chest it could work. If I'm wrong, I'll just use one to power my Athlon :)

Re:Self contained artificial organs, cobber! (3, Interesting)

ldopa1 (465624) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375134)

A completely self-contained, reliable, artifical
heart available off-the-shelf and requiring no
external battery pack or management would be a
sea change in modern medicine.


I can just imagine the Tech Support Call for this one...

"Press 1 if you're having trouble installing your BeatFree Artificial Heart. Press 2 if your Heart will not start..."

Of course, that'll lead to all kinds of 911 calls...

"Help! My husband's heart isn't beating!!!"
"Ma'am, please calm down. If your would turn your husband over and look at the Service Tag on his left ass-cheek...."
"Ok, Ok! Here it is... 615-CU-OEM-5YE"
"Ma'am, I'm sorry but you'll have to call the vendor for support. You're husband has an OEM heart."

Or even better...

"Sir, your heart is working fine. You'll just need to replace the power supply!"
"How would I do that?"
"Well, take you wife into the bedroom...."

Seriously, this type of thing has been mentioned in numerous sci-fi novels as an imminent invention. I would love to get a wristwatch display installed underneath the skin on my left wrist, with luminous hands which glow through the skin. It would be cool, it'd never run out, you'd only have to set it once, you could upload new hand-designs onto it, and you'd only see it when you needed it. If it broke, it's a small incision, but it never breaks because it's under the skin. Sign me up!

Re:Self contained artificial organs, cobber! (1)

wwight (302660) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375147)

This could be a bad idea. Imagine:

"Honey, hand me a sweater. My pacemaker just ran out of juice again."

Artificial organs powered by body heat would also compound the dangers of hypothermia and frostbite.

How about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2374986)

Battery powered batteries huh? How's that for a breakthrough.

Efficiency? (1)

Mr. Eradicator (470089) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374987)

I didn't see an efficiency of the energy conversion listed in the article. I wonder how these compare to photovoltaics.

All options (3, Interesting)

Docrates (148350) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374989)

As always my memory fails me, but I read in Wired Magazine, about a year ago, about this guy that stored the energy generated by your footsteps and then used it to power all sorts of devices. It turns out he was doing pretty well, but I don't know what came out of it.

Now, if we were to identify a real demand for personal power generation, I'm sure there's a combination of strategies we could use, like those footsteps, body heat, chemicals, heck, even blinking!.. If you consider how many calories are burnt every day by our bodies in order to make it work, and how much energy is released in all sorts of ways, I'm sure we could power our cellphones and PDA's forever.

Re:All options (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2375131)

Neil Gershenfeld [mit.edu] of the MIT Media Lab [mit.edu] . I've seen him speak and read his book, "When Things Start to Think". The Media Lab has come up with a whole assortment of amazing devices.

Rectal Wind Turbine Powers PDA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2375144)

>> If you consider how many calories are burnt every day by our bodies in order to make it work, and how much energy is released in all sorts of ways



Hey, if you're that into conserving energy, why not? You might even like it after a while.

scary stuff? (2, Interesting)

jptxs (95600) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374990)

small devices, with their own power which can be placed on/in any person and run off of them for an indefinite amount of time... tagged at birth, tracked in secret... never off the screen for even a nanosecond...

there are TONS of practical applications... (2)

turbine216 (458014) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374992)

...for instance, pacemakers and artifical organs. The latest breed of artificial hearts has to be charged through the skin several times a week. With a few improvements to this new design, the mechanical heart could be TRULY self-contained. A very practical and useful application if you ask me...

Digital Angel sounds familiar (1)

pythorlh (236755) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374993)

This sounds like all those sci-fi terrorists.

"Don't shoot me. If my heart stops, this thing will explode."

On a more serious note, this thing would be great for my wife. She has had to have numerous pieces of equipment plastered to her to monitor her EKG. That stuff is heavy. I hope this gets into production soon.

Need... more... Big... Macs... (1)

Majik Sznak (230190) | more than 12 years ago | (#2374996)

I just had a funny idea for a short story: Someone with a lot of electronics on them dies because they didn't eat breakfast and they were sucked dry of energy by their "personal helpers."


Well, if someone writes that, email it to me. :)

More body power methods (3, Informative)

exceed (518714) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375000)

This article at NY Times [nytimes.com] has an interesting article on other methods of using body energy to power things.

It mentions methods such as cranking and pumping, and of course, stride (i.e. stride-powered watches). One company created a human-powered electricity generator which creates electricity by hand pumping. If you pump one of these for a few minutes, it can power a cell phone for around 20 minutes.

Re:More body power methods (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2375160)

It mentions methods such as cranking and pumping...

on second thought... i won't even go there.

Hey! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2375005)

Isn't this kinda like The Matrix??

Scarry...!

not gonna power much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2375006)

a little thermodynamics shows this doesn't go a long way

Powering medical devices... one problem (4, Interesting)

hillct (230132) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375008)

And you thought falling into a frozen lake was a health hazard before... just wait until you have an artificial heart run by your body heat.

Even after the EMTs pull you from the lake they couldn't restart your heart for at least half an hour until your body temperature increased. Bad news.

Seriously, it doesn't mention what's the minimum temperature the device requires.

--CTH

Not much info (4, Insightful)

Shotgun (30919) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375010)

How expensive is the material to create these small batteries? It's a ceramic, so would it be feasible to create bricks which could be used to line or even build smokestacks? Could this be a replacement for solar cells (the article indicates a temperature gradient as a power source, and those are everywhere). Obviously, these don't produce much energy, but ceramics are notoriously easy to mass produce and fashion into all sorts of artsy shapes.

Re:Not much info (2)

garcia (6573) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375175)

make ceramic heat sinks that absorb the damn heat from CPUs and power the whole house. I know that if I had one of this on my little Alpha UDB (space heater) I wouldn't have to worry about my $90/mo electric bill. :)

At least the little box would be worth more than the MP3 server it is now.

Handheld? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2375024)

A heat powered vibrator would be much, much more fun.

Let me get this straight... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2375025)

The worst terrorist attacks in United States history occurred less than three weeks ago, and you people are discussing "Body Powered Batteries". How do "Body Powered Batteries" help the 6000+ people that died? My *GOD* people, GET SOME PRIORITIES!

Quite frankly, the 6000+ people who died in this unprecedented tragedy could give a rats ass about "Body Powered Batteries" You people disgust me.

You should all be glad that you are alive and well and able to masturbate as frequently as you like while looking at goatse.cx, not stuck under 100 stories of a collapsed building with your penis sliced off from shrapnel.

33 million fingernails... (3, Funny)

DudeTheMath (522264) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375029)

Gee, I only need 33,333,333 of those advanced 3V, 10u-amp "batteries" to generate a kW. Put on the suit, hook it up to the microwave, and 20 minutes of dancing gives me dinner!

Yer sig (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2375059)

You save only 59 seconds over 8 miles by going 75 instead of 65. Save a life instead--it might be yours! Do the Math!

Ummmm, I don't kill one person every eight miles. You cut travel time by 10 mnutes every hour by going 75. Worth it to me.

Oh My God! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2375036)

Wow.. remember The Matrix?? How all those robots were powered with the body heat of humans?

Oh man.. I hope we don't build an A.I. anytime soon.

How long before... (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375039)

How long will it be before this technology can power a self contained artificial heart? If you can keep one of those running 24x7 on body heat, that'd be a huge step forward. The next step past that would be having the heart change its level of pumping based on how much you're exerting yourself and you could have a device that could feasibly be left in a human for the rest of his life AND have that span be 5-10 years or more.

Re:How long before... (2, Informative)

Arlet (29997) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375138)

The problem is that you need a temperature gradient. Inside the human body there is hardly any gradient, so this wouldn't work without part of the device being outside the body. Even then, I am sure there's no way this method comes close to generating the power needed for an artificial heart.

Comparison to kinetic electric generation? (2)

4of12 (97621) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375045)

With the mention of wristwatches I'm reminded of a Seiko watch I saw advertised a few years ago that had some kind of internal mechanism for capturing kinetic motions (via ratchets?) into a windup spring that subsequently would provide sufficient electric power to run the wristwatch.

So I'm wondering how much electric power can be reasonably gotten from each source.

You'd have to set limits, so the thermoelectric generation doesn't consider an extreme case of someone naked sitting in artic temperatures full encased with thermo electric generators sucking off the terrific temperature gradient at their disposal. Likewise, a kinetic watch that weighs many kilograms and requires that it be shaken vigorously and constantly at 2 Hz in order to provide many watts is kind of a ridiculous proposition as well.

So what's next - hemoelectric generators powered by little turbines in major arteries?

s3x toy? (1)

sckeener (137243) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375046)

I think some of the techs in my building could be our backup UPS if they designed these into s3x toys....

also, how would these things work for those of us who are cold blooded (son of two lawyers)?

"You turn me on." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2375047)

Gives it a whole new literal meaning...

The standard 'Beowulf cluster' comment... (3, Funny)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375057)

I can see it now:

The Boston Marathon becomes a Beowulf Cluster!
WWF wrestlers finally produce something worthwhile!
Japanese Corporate Sararymen power their buildings by energy generated during morning calesthenics!

another interesting application... (3, Interesting)

AsbestosRush (111196) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375062)

Hearing aids. Not quite as mission critical as a heart, but still good to use as a sort of field test, IMO.

I am a filthy negro! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2375067)

I needs me some watermellon before I robs this here Koreanese convenince store, mah homies!

I am Borg!! (2)

billmaly (212308) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375074)

Now all we have to do is pump up the voltage! Then cybernetically implant a cell phone in/on you, earbud installed into your skull, NO better yet, hardwired into your brain, microphone grafted to a tooth, and you are WIRED BABY!!

Patch a PDA into it, figure out how to pipe the display to your retina, and we're Cyborgs! All wired, all the time.....

Now where does the antennae for 802.11 go? WAIT!! I know just the place!! :)

Bill

Hey! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2375077)

Isn't this like that movie Beowulf Cluster? I hope we don't design the Matrix anytime soon, that's just plain scarry!

Perpetual Motion!!!! (3, Funny)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375083)

<HUMOR>
Just stack one of these babies on top of a P4! That amount of heat'll generate enough electricity to solve California's power crunch!
</HUMOR>

Tags included for the humor impaired to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Re:Perpetual Motion!!!! (1, Flamebait)

davey23sol (462701) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375139)

Just stack one of these babies on top of a P4!

Why the heck not? This actually sounds like a great idea to reclaim wasted energy... it isn't being used for anything important.

Next use (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2375116)

This can be used to power the GPS implants that the government will use to track us to keep is us safe from un-elected terrorists.

No info (1)

ParamonKreel (182921) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375142)

The article is basically the meaty paragraph of the press release repeated about 8 times.

They're small, like a fingernail, they put out 1.5 volts at 10Microamps.
They work on heat, continuously.

That's it.

movie industry and this technology (2, Funny)

NastyGnat (515785) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375146)

Since everyone's brought up the matrix, it's obvious that the movie industry thought of this idea first and will be the appropriate content holders. Everyone will have to pay a tax to generate body heat and will no longer be allowed to share body heat without paying royalties.

Activity generated vs. passively generated power (2, Informative)

aarondsouza (96916) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375149)

Admittedly this post is about passively generated electricity, but there's also been some work on electricity generated by harnessing activity such as walking [zzz.com.ru] . This company [theelectricshoeco.com] for example, has been using peizoelectric devices to generate a few milliwatts of power from walking/running activities. For the most part the energy produced is insufficient for anything other than trickle-charging batteries.

For most of us here on /. putting little piezoelectric generators under each key of the keyboard, and under those mouse buttons would beat those peizoelectric shoes anytime!

Power handhelds? (1)

rew (6140) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375158)

How long before these things can power my handheld?"

Pretty long: Handhelds are simply using more power than is theoretically available....

Roger.

wahoo! great for those who need to burn calories! (2)

Telek (410366) | more than 12 years ago | (#2375165)

Since this works off of body heat, this requires you to burn more calories! So now the overweight nerds out there can all have a GREAT excuse to (a) buy more gadgets and (b) not excercise!

"Aww, but I am exercising, I'm playing VirtualQuakeVII on my Palmiot! You have any idea how much processing juice that takes? I can feel myself getting thinner by the minute!"
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