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Health Tech: Energy for Wearables from Water

Wearables are great, until you have to change the batteries or recharge them. What if plain water could solve the problem?

If you’ve ever reached for a light switch in the winter and received a painful shock, you know that you can make electricity apparently out of nothing. This same effect is what creates lightning. When you rub one material against another, such as a rubber comb against a piece of wool, an electrical charge can build up. Researchers in China have developed tubes filled with water that convert motion into electricity. When the water moves in any direction within the tube, it comes in contact with conductors and generates electrical energy. The research team created a wristband with 10 small modules. When a person wears that wristband and moves, it can generate enough power to light up a matrix of 150 LED lamps. The result is a system that converts motion into electricity that could be used to power wearable devices such as sensors. Like a self-winding watch, this technology has the potential to eliminate the need for changing batteries or recharging your wearable devices.

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Written by Alfred Poor

Alfred Poor is an "Into Tomorrow" Contributing Correspondent, health tech speaker, writer and the founding Editor of Health Tech Insider: a website and industry newsletter that covers wearable and mobile technology for health and medical applications. With more than 2,400 articles published on the site, he has a broad perspective of where the global industry stands today and where it’s headed... Into Tomorrow.

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