The race is now on to convert body heat into battery power. Just like the action/sci-fi movie The Matrix.
In The Matrix, it was revealed to Neo (Keanu Reeves) that humans are flesh batteries powering artificial intelligence machines that have taken control of Earth.
Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have come one step closer to harness the human bodies’ thermoelectric energy to power low-cost wearable devices.
“In the future, we want to be able to power your wearable electronics without having to include a battery,” said Jianliang Xiao, senior author of the new paper and an associate professor in the Paul M. Rady Department of Mechanical Engineering at CU Boulder.
As we noted above, the human-powered battery to power machines is straight out of The Matrix film. Xiao said the battery could generate about 1 volt of energy for every square centimeter of skin – allowing it to power wearable devices, such as fitness trackers.
In a short informational video, CU Boulder explains how the new battery works.
“Whenever you use a battery, you’re depleting that battery and will, eventually, need to replace it,” Xiao said. “The nice thing about our thermoelectric device is that you can wear it, and it provides you with constant power.”
Though the technology is still in its infancy, he said it generates less voltage per area than a conventional battery.
While more research is needed to increase the amount of power produced before it can be commercialized. He figured it would take about a decade before the new battery is introduced for the retail market.
“Just don’t tell the robots. We don’t want them getting any ideas,” Xiao concluded.