The possibility of having a portable electronic device that never needs to be plugged in to recharge, is a future concept researchers are currently working on. The practical applications are endless, especially in the medical field where having a self contained powered device could be an advantage over replaceable, expendable batteries.
Mother Nature Network reports:
The battery, developed by Zhong Lin Wang and colleagues at the Georgia Institute of Technology, converts the kinetic energy from motion into chemical energy, which can then be used to power any device. By placing the battery on the bottom of a shoe, for example, it could generate energy with every step.
Visualize the future of medical monitoring equipment, without needing to replace the batteries. The basic act of moving through the day would be enough to keep the batteries recharged.
MNN continues to note:
Not only does this new battery technology create a more efficient process — five times more efficient than current systems, Lin Wang says — it reduces the amount of size and weight of the resulting battery, making it even more portable and easy to incorporate into all manner of devices.
Currently the voltage output is fairly low – just enough to run a basic calculator. But the future outlook is promising to get up to the standard 1.5v that is standard of consumer batteries used in today’s portable electronics.