New smartphone battery charging solutions appear on the market all the time, using all sorts of technologies from solar power to the energy generated by your bike pedaling or walking.
This new concept however captures and uses body heat to charge your phone, making it ideal for use in any situation, as the technology can be easily added to your clothes’ pockets. The Power Pocket prototype was developed by Vodafone and the University of Southampton.
The Power Pocket was unveiled just in time for the festival season, being designed as a must-have accessory for any festival goer who does not have access to a power outlet while camping at an outdoor music event. The technology will allow festival goers to charge their phone while dancing, talking and even sleeping.
The technology uses thermocouples, which are actually pairs of flexible and small thermoelectric material stitched onto clothing. Several of these thermoelectric materials are printed and connected together into a thermoelectric module.
This module has the ability to capture body movement and heat in order to boost mobile devices’ battery life, to offer a 24-hour power source. The technology generates electrical current by using the difference in temperature between the body and the surroundings.
To test the material, Vodafone has woven the modules to a pair of shorts (Power Shorts) and a sleeping bag (Recharge). A full day of dancing and walking while wearing the Power Shorts will provide enough power to charge your smartphone for 4 hours. And the heat generated by the Recharge sleeping bag during eight hours of sleep can add up to 11 hours to your smartphone’s battery.
The technology is still in development, in order to make it more durable and resistant. Researchers expect the material to become widely available in the next decade. Vodafone debuted the technology at the Isle of Wight Festival on June 13-16 and will also make it available at other festivals.
What do you think of the Power Pocket? Would you give it a try?