Need to Charge Your Phone? Go for a Walk

Researcher Zhong Lin Wang's new power source is inspired by the same prinicples that makes your hair stand on end: static electricity.

Zhong Lin Wang's new form of energy generation could let you power an iPhone simply by walking down the block.

What if you could have an iPhone battery that never ran out of juice? What if you could charge it by simply walking down the street? Hopping from outlet to outlet at a party or event could be a thing of the past, if researcher Zhong Lin Wang has his way.

The motion-powered charger was built by a team of Georgia Tech researchers led by Wang is supposedly 50 times more efficient than a similarly sized genrator.

The disk-shaped charger is made of four layers of metal and polymers, and uses the same principles that creates static electricity to generate a charge that can light up an array of lights.

According to Business Insider, Wang also experimented with wearable versions you could attach “to your leg, or in the folds of a jacket.”

Static electricity works based on an imbalance of electrons on two surfaces. If you have more electrons on your socks and rug, you’ll see (and feel) the transfer to something like a handle or metal table.

The team at Georgia Tech wants to harness that principle for generating electricity. “The phenomenon has been known for 1,000 years,” said Wang. “But it’s rarely been utilized for power.”

You can read more about the device in the journal Nature Communications.

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