You're midway through your workout when pfsst! your iPod runs out of juice and your energy flags with the loss of your can-do anthem.
No problem! Just plug it in to your shorts.
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed nanotechnology fibers that harvest energy from physical motion enough to power small electronic devices.
From Georgia Tech:
The research, funded by the National Science Foundation and described in the Feb. 14 issue of Nature, details how pairs of textile fibers covered with zinc oxide nanowires generate electricity in response to applied mechanical stress. Known as "the piezoelectric effect," the resulting current flow from many fiber pairs woven into a shirt or jacket could allow the wearer's body movement to power a range of portable electronic devices. The fibers could also be woven into curtains, tents or other structures to capture energy from wind motion, sound vibration or other mechanical energy.
Right now, the power output of these fibers is measured in units fitting to such a tiny device: in nanoamperes and milliwatts. But with time and improvements in design, we all could be wearing clothing that generates enough electricity to keep our electronics buzzing without drawing power off the grid.
A similar piezoelectric breakthrough could allow the motion of people walking through public spaces, like train stations, to generate electricity for the buildings.
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