battery-recycleLow-power wearable technology could no longer require batteries in the near future. Instead, these devices could generate energy from body heat or movement as well as ambient energy naturally found in the environment. While technology is decreasing in size, batteries are not. Therefore, it is critical to begin integrating new energy harvesting methods to keep small devices such as wearables operating for lengthy periods of time.

Body heat, motion and ambient lighting sources could be placed within medical implants, disposable medical patches and monitoring sensors. Although the technology is still being researched, energy efficiency and chip performance are the primary focus. Batteries are becoming a nuisance, and many people feel it would be easier to replace them with different sources of energy.

Unfortunately, the amount of energy required to power fitness trackers and smartwatches is much higher than the amount that can be created by the body. Instead, this technology is better suited for wearables that gather information and transmit it at specific intervals.

Within the next year, billions of internet-connected devices will be gathering and transmitting information. Self-powered devices have the ability to resolve power issues while being smaller in size.

In addition to the proposed method of generating energy, another method is using ambient mechanical vibrations like electromagnetic waves. Although these are not ideal for wearables, they could be used in industrial and residential settings.

This technology is just the beginning. As devices continue to become smaller and more energy efficient, this technology will also be applied to consumer devices.

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