Fabric Could Power Your iPod

Scientists discover way to derive energy from microfiber fabric
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2008 7:31 PM CST
Fabric Could Power Your iPod
This photo released by Georgia Tech University shows a close up image of a pair of entangled fibers that make up a microfiber nanogenerator. Both fibers are coated with zinc oxide nanowires; one fiber is additionally coated with gold. When rubbed together, they generate electrical current. (AP Photo/Georgia...   (Associated Press)

George Jetson, eat your heart out: Scientists have developed a microfiber fabric that generates its own electricity, which could someday provide relief for cellphone users strapped without their chargers or iPod fanatics running low on battery. The fabric, if woven into a shirt, could harness power from simple physical movement such as walking or even a gentle breeze, Reuters reports.

"What the fabric does is it translates the mechanical movement of your body into electricity," said a researcher. The fabric can charge small iPods or cellphone batteries, but researchers hope to enhance the technology to aid soldiers, doctors, and environmentalists. The fabric’s one wrinkle? Its zinc oxide is sensitive to water, a potential laundry problem researchers are trying to iron out. (Read more microfiber stories.)

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