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Finger Wrap Can Power Electronics While You Sleep

fingertip with autonomous energy harvester

The device taps a fingertip's 1,000-plus sweat glands to generate a significant amount of energy.

Credit: University of California, San Diego

Engineers at the University of California San Diego developed a thin, flexible strip that can be worn on a fingertip and generate small amounts of electricity when a wearer's finger sweats or presses on it.

The device generates power even while the wearer is asleep or sitting still. "This work is a step forward to making wearables more practical, convenient and accessible for the everyday person," says Lu Yin, a nanoengineering Ph.D. student at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

The wearable device is a thin, flexible strip that can be wrapped around the fingertip like a Band-Aid. A padding of carbon foam electrodes absorbs sweat and converts it into electrical energy.

The energy harvester is described in "A Passive Perspiration Biofuel Cell: High Energy Return on Investment," published in the journal Joule.

From University of California, San Diego
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