Researchers Develop Power Solution For Wearable Devices

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Researchers developed a device that can harness power from nearby office or home electronics such as laptops and transmit the power through the human body to the wearables.

Wearable devices are enabling us to track fitness, helping healthcare professionals keep track of patient health, providing a way of tracking location using GPS, sending and receiving text messages, and more. The wearable technology aims to influence the fields of health and medicine, fitness, aging, disability, education, transportation, enterprise, finance, gaming, music, etc. These devices are ultra-portable. The one challenge that remains in this area is powering the device. Nowadays, wearables need to be charged numerous times which is inconvenient. Therefore, a way must be figured to maintain power and operation on the go. 

Design engineers are trying to make battery-free wearable devices that can harness the heat energy from the user’s body and convert into electricity. Researchers at the national university of Singapore have developed a unique device that can provide power by using the human body as a medium for power transmission and can harness energy from nearby home or office electronics such as laptops. The work was published in the Nature Electronics journal.

The researchers created a transmitter and a receiver. Both contain a chip that serves as a springboard to extend the range of power transmission over the entire body. The transmitter must be placed on the power source and the receivers on the user’s body. The power transmission is possible through a process known as body-coupled power transmission. According to the NUS researchers, a single fully-charged power source can allow users to power 10 other wearable devices on the body for over 10 hours.

Moreover, the receiver created by the NUS team has an RF energy harvester device that can harness RF energy from the ambient environment. The receiver can use these EM waves to power wearable devices anywhere on the body through body-coupled powering.

 

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