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Clothing to Power Personal Computers

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University of Southampton

Steve Beeby of the University of Southampton's School of Electronics and Computer Science is principal investigator of a team working to generate energy for electronic devices through people's movement, eliminating the need for rechargeable batteries.

Credit: University of Southampton

Researchers at the University of Southampton's School of Electronics and Computer Science are developing technology that would enable individuals to power electronic devices through their clothes and the carpets they walk on.

Southampton's Steve Beeby and his team will use rapid printing processes and active printed inks to create an energy-harvesting film for textiles. This film also can be printed on carpets, enabling people to generate energy as they walk around the home or office. "We will generate useful levels of power, which will be harvested through the films in the textiles," Beeby says. "The two big challenges in smart textiles are supplying power and surviving washing."

The research will provide a toolbox of materials and processes suitable for a range of different fabrics, which will enable users to develop the energy-harvesting fabric best suited to their requirements. Beeby says the technology will likely be used to power wireless health monitoring systems in addition to consumer products and automotive applications.

From University of Southampton
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