In ten years there won't be any wearables without energy harvesting. Here’s why.
Electronic wearables have changed our lives and will ever more do so in the near future. Carrying technology on our bodies started in greater scale with the introduction of wearables. This innovation started the race, which since then led to countless applications in the portable and wearable device market. Since the introduction of the very early versions of such devices, functionality, size and user experience have ever improved and have been revolutionized by new technologies. The energy supply of these devices however, still relies on the same working principle as decades ago.
Technological advances for everyday use
Over time wearables, such as smartwatches or activity trackers, gained numerous attributes and applications. They enabled you to surf the internet, manage your emails, edit photography and to enjoy numerous little gadgets for entertainment, work, and leisure. The most common motivators for purchasing such a device were them increasing the users standard of living, by offering multiple services right from your wrist.
Nearly every single electronic wearable relies on batteries or to be charged via a plug. Those energy sources limit the useability of each device to just one charge. Replacing the batteries creates waste and the use of a charger requires access to the power grid and the hardware to do so.
The use of currently needed energy sources makes wearables more composed of inconvenient smaller parts. This will make them need maintenance, an issue solved by switching to energy harvesting systems, which are able to get the necessary power for your devices right from where you are.
By this development, numerous new advantages benefit the users. Thanks to the harvesting technologies, devices are able to run anywhere without any limitation. Those new attributes your wearables will have in the near future would simplify and improve your use of technology. And since it is your own body that supplies the initial energy, the generation is clean and sustainable.
Why energy harvesting?
By now, harvesting energy from the human body is very much possible and will be utilized ever more by users of wearable devices. Harvesting our body’s heat reduces or eliminates the dependency on batteries for wearables and also decreases the amount of external electricity for other electronic devices that you’re carrying with you on a daily basis.
We at Mithras Technology are developing a technology capable of harvesting this form of energy. By using the temperature difference occurring between the surface of the body and the surrounding air, the generators are able to turn body heat into electricity. Using this form of energy generation is not only a reliable way to supply your device, it’s also a clean way to do so and furthermore to reduce the volume of batteries we need. Reducing battery use does not only make wearables more convenient, it also has positive effects on the environment as harvesting technology does not create waste, such as used up battery shells. Furthermore, it is all done by using a by-product of your body, wich otherwise would be lost without use.
The harvesting technology is so reliable because the energy needed is provided throughout its entire use. Since your body is always radiating heat, there is no break in the generation period. The supply of energy does only stop in between use of the wearable. Once you wear it, it works. The techs independence of maintenance heavily underlines reliability. Since the TEG technology is an integrated part of each devices hardware, no lose parts have to be exchanged or handled by the wearer in any way.
Being the main energy source of your wearables is expected to reduce the stress related to the duration of your devices. Especially in the medical wearable industry, where devices functionality is of great importance, energy harvesting could add comfort to the use and furthermore, be a true life-saver for patients.
It is just a matter of time until most, if not all electronic wearables are powered by energy harvesting. The obvious benefits of generating clean and unlimited energy right at where you actually use it will set a new industry-standard. But it is the combination between the benefits for the user and the clean approach of this technology, which will lead to its breack-through.