Feeds

Human heart could power an iPod

Pump up the volume

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Scientists have developed the first commercially viable nanogenerator, which could pave the way for the human heart to become a charger for our electrical gizmos.

The nanogenerator device is a flexible chip with millions of zinc oxide nanowires that when flexed induce a piezoelectric effect, delivering a tiny amount of electrical current.

Nano Chip

Researchers at Georgia Tech have been working on the prototypes for six years and say that if placed in the perfect arrangement within layers of polymer material, they could be flexed to generate and capture electricity.

The chips are roughly a quarter of the size of a postage stamp. Stack five of them on top of each other and they can be used to generate the same voltage as two AA batteries. This can be produced simply by squeezing them together with your fingertips.

"Additional nanowires and more nanogenerators, stacked together, could produce enough energy for powering larger electronics, such as an iPod or charging a cell phone." said Zhong Lin Wang, who heads up the research.

In a presentation at an American Chemical Society meeting in California, Wang said the device is 150 times more powerful than early prototypes.

"This development represents a milestone toward producing portable electronics that can be powered by body movements without the use of batteries or electrical outlets… our nanogenerators are poised to change lives in the future. Their potential is only limited by one's imagination."

Of course, actually implementing these devices as coronary iPod chargers isn't a top priority, but Wang's idea of a heart powered nano chip to run an implanted insulin pump is a more serious suggestion likely to get medical attention. However, in time, we could see such piezoelectric nanogenerators put in the soles of our shoes, or utilising movement from rolling car tyres, even harnessing wind to deliver additional sources of energy. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes
Buzzing board (and some future apps) leave a lot to be desired
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.