Capturing and harnessing energy

Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering is always up to something interesting that helps move the field of wearable technology forward. Recently, researchers have discovered a way to capture and harness energy transmitted by such sources as radio and television transmitters, cell phone networks and satellite communications systems. By scavenging this ambient energy from the air around us, the technique could provide a new way to power networks of wireless sensors, microprocessors and communications chips. Professor Manos Tentzeris who is leading the research said:

There is a large amount of electromagnetic energy all around us, but nobody has been able to tap into it. We are using an ultra-wideband antenna that lets us exploit a variety of signals in different frequency ranges, giving us greatly increased power-gathering capability.

The devices are also rather beautiful and easy to create. Tentzeris and his team are using inkjet printers to combine sensors, antennas and energy-scavenging capabilities on paper or flexible polymers. They are flat, flexible, and have a strong graphical pattern...perfect for garment integration.

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