Your Body Heat Will Power Your Google Glass Soon

google-glass-explorerIn a bid to ensure a stable and reliable power supply to the highly anticipated Google Glass and other like-minded devices, a team of researchers have now come up with the idea of a glass fabric-based thermoelectric (TE) generator. The TE generator will be an extremely light and flexible solution to powering the aforementioned devices, producing electricity from the heat emancipated from the human body.

“There are no changes in performance even if the generator bends upward and downward for up to 120 cycles,” Byung Jin Cho, a professor of electrical engineering at KAIST (formerly also known as Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) in South Korea was quoted as saying. The flexible TE generator has an allowable bending radius as low as 20 mm and could minimise thermal energy loss while maximising power output. “The TE generator has a self-sustaining structure, eliminating thick external substrates (usually made of ceramic or alumina) that hold inorganic TE materials,” Cho added.

The researchers have developed two types of TE generators. The organic-based TE generators make use of polymers that are highly flexible and compatible with human skin. Although ideal for wearable electronics, these have a low power output. Inorganic-based TE generators however, produce a high electrical energy. The downside is they are heavy, rigid and bulky.

The Google Glass is a device that looks like a spectacle and contains a hidden computer, a thumbnail-size transparent display screen above the right eye and other digital wizardry. The company has touted this device as an evolution in technology that is a lot more convenient and a lot less obnoxious in social situations. Critics however have raised uproar over the idea and say that this only serves to make users more enslaved to a device.

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