Gone are the days when we can expect to sit in one location for eight hours’ stretch at a time, with easy and continued access to a variety of charging technologies which provide constant power for our most-used technologies.
As companies increasingly favour collaboration over independent working, the average person during the day may find themselves shuttling from workspace to workspace, without a dedicated location for their plugs and other electrical apparatus. Frequent desk relocations are also seen to be on the upswing as more and more organisations are experimenting with open office plans, designed to foster teamwork and relationship-building, and rethinking the traditional work day as being stationed at a single desk.
Along with these new innovations in workplace organisation, rates of telecommuting – which includes working occasionally from the office and in other locales – has also steadily climbed, demanding a new approach to how work devices are powered and maintained.
But it’s not just work-related devices that employees are relying on in their day-to-day activities. As fitness and health apps become the rage, individuals are relying on their phones and wearables to track their daily step counts and the number of calories burned per day, as part of their quest for an ever-healthier lifestyle.
In this new mode of living, convenience and flexibility in power sources will be key.
Today, we expect much more of our gadgets, devices, and electronics than ever before – we expect that they are portable, and comfortably so; we expect that they provide new and innovative products and information; and we demand that they are consistently accessible – meaning, that they either have incredibly long battery lives, or are easily chargeable.
For most of us who have owned smartphones, we understand all too well the frustration that comes with short battery lives and electronics which are unreliable. That’s where the TEG technology comes in – with thermoelectric energy that is generated by your person, on your person, and transmitted to devices which you are wearing – the days of frantically trying to find a phone charger are coming to an end.
By harvesting the energy produced by your body, created from the temperature differential between your internal body heat and the external environment, you can ensure going forward that your smartwatch will never run out of juice in the middle of a successful run, or your ECG won’t fail at the moment you’re susceptible to heart troubles.
Down the line, TEG technology may also allow us to power IoT devices with our own harvested energy, building on the existing technology to power wearables and point of care devices. And for those who have come to rely on these electronics for a richer quality of life, this type of inexhaustible energy source will be incredibly valued.