Generating power through movement

Designer Jerry Mejia has created this concept design that explores ways to generate power through our movement called Tusk. "Whether running errands or running a marathon, our body movements can create a lot of energy every day – energy that is basically wasted since we tend not to capture and use it. The Tusk concept would harness the energy of the human body and use it to charge mobile gadgets. The system uses rotary dynamos, rectifiers and linear regulators to create electricity from the repetitive movements of its wearer. The power created by an active person can power a phone, iPod or whatever else needs a topping up." Continue reading on gajitz. Even in its cleverness, generating enough power and amps to power a consumer device like a phone or music player is still very challenging. Even with advancements in electricity-generating technology such as piezoelectronics and conductive resonance, we are just not there yet. So, I suppose Tusk is ahead of its time, but an evocative concept nonetheless.

More info and images at Yanko Design.

Footwear that harvests energy by walking

Alas, you can leave that cumbersome power cord at home. Imagine charging your mobile phone anywhere you are simply by walking. University of Wisconsin-Madison engineering researchers Tom Krupenkin and J. Ashley Taylor have developed an in-shoe system that harvests energy by walking. Currently, this energy is lost as heat. With their technology, however, they claim that up to 20 watts of electricity could be generated, and stored in an incorporated rechargeable battery. Continue reading on Gizmag. Image from Gizmag.

Generating power through your wrist

"Fujitsu recently unveiled a high-tech bracelet generator that runs on both solar energy and heat from the wearer. The device contains no electrical wiring nor battery replacements, and it can be completely powered by body heat and the sun’s rays. Fujitsu plans to expand upon this prototype, and hopes to produce products utilizing the technology by 2015. Fujitsu has stated that energy harvesting gadgets are 'gaining interest as a future next-generation energy source'. The company went on to say that 'energy harvesting is the process for collecting energy from the surrounding environment. Conventionally, electricity is supplied by either a power plant or a battery, requiring electrical wiring and replacement batteries. In recent years, the idea of using ambient energy in the forms of light, vibration, heat, radio waves, etc. has become increasingly attractive, and a number of methods to produce electricity from these different kinds of energy sources have been developed.'"

Continue reading on Inhabitat.

Energy-producing wellies that charge your devices

[gallery] Wearable technology has its challenges, especially with how they get powered. Here's a great energy-harvesting solution created by orange in collaboration with gotwind. Together, they created energy producing wellie boots that enable users to charge their phone or other mobile gadgets. The prototype wellies "use a unique ‘power generating sole’ that converts heat from your feet into an electrical current. This ‘welectricity’ can then be used to re-charge your mobile phone." Continue reading on

Images from gotwind.

Experiments with wearable solar energy

[gallery] Wearable technology designer Meg Grant is experimenting with solar energy. Inspired by a "Kitchen Science" DIY project, she has been exploring how naked diodes can generate and capture energy. She will be testing the circuits with rechargeable batteries and how to optimize it in July. In the meantime, here are her initial findings so far:

  • it's very easy to snap the naked diodes in half where the white blob is, either while removing the casing or while preparing for sewing
  • you have to connect them in series to build up enough voltage (duh!)
  • not all black plastic diodes work, but most of the ones I used did
  • not all "naked diodes" are equal. I had to remove one from the beaded panel in order to maximise the current
  • if using salvaged diodes with short legs, solder a wire onto the leg before crushing the plastic

Continue reading on her project site. Photos from

Personal, mobile, kinetic power generation


Designer Mary Huang in collaboration with Jennifer Kay has created this beautiful, yet somewhat impractical wearable technology piece that explores ideas of personal, mobile power generation and kinetics titled Dandelion. I can't imagine wearing this around town, but the implementation is quite evocative. It definitely sparks conversation around the possibilities of our movement and environmental outputs generating personal and mobile power.

"Dandelion is a wearable that captures energy from wind and human movement. It is a structure of miniature windmills that embraces the wearer. It is fashion that creates an interface between nature, technology, and people." Continue reading on

Photos from