Solar powered Smart Watches have already started to pour into the wearables market and everyone has seen or at least heard of them by now. But innovators are going one step ahead to power Smart Watches with the sweat of the wearer. Scientists have come up with a method of replacing traditional batteries with human sweat.
University of Glasgow conducted a research overseen by scientists from this well respected Scottish Institute. Conventional electrolytes found in normal batteries are substituted with a flexible kind of Supercapacitor in this newly developed battery cell.
The technology simply works by gathering the naturally produced sweat of the wearer with the help of special polymer coated with a cloth of polyester cellulose. Ions present in the sweat undergo reactions with polymer resulting in production of electric charge. As little sweat as 20 microliters in volume can charge the battery which can last up to a great number of bends and flexes, making it perfect for a wearable primarily strapped onto our wrists.
“Conventional batteries are cheaper and more plentiful than ever before, but they are often built using unsustainable materials which are harmful to the environment. That makes them challenging to dispose of safely, and potentially harmful in wearable devices, where a broken battery could spill toxic fluids onto skin,” claimed Professor Ravinder Dahiya. “What we’ve been able to do for the first time is show that human sweat provides a real opportunity to do away with those toxic materials entirely, with excellent charging and discharging performance.” Dr. Dhaiya is the the head of this research project.
There are still some hurdles to pass before we can see this technology being used commercially. The prospect of this development looks promising however there still is a lot of room for improvement. Maybe we will see this technology being used as a supplementary power source just like solar power in many smart watches of today before developers are confident enough to upgrade it to a primary power source in a device.