Self-Powering Electronics: New Fabric Metamaterial Generates Electricity From Heat, Movement
Thermoelectrics are not exactly new, but usually made of materials that are brittle, heavy, and expensive. Carroll’s fabric, on the other hand, is lightweight, feels like wool felt, and can be wrapped around surfaces or even sewn into clothing.
While energy can’t be “created” this fabric can essentially pull electricity out if thin air, from heat and movement. The fabric Carroll’s group has can turn heat — from your body, the sun, anywhere — into usable electricity. And unlike anything ever before, it can simultaneously collect power from vibrations or movement — letting your smartphone case bounce on a carseat during a long drive could charge your phone. So could a shirt flapping in the wind.