Research confirms the possibility of typing-powered laptops

Posted on Jun 24 2011 - 1:06pm by Thomas Sharp

Researchers say that in three years, people will be able to power their laptops just by typing. Australian researchers said that by using piezoelectric materials, people can say goodbye to power cords and use their fingers to power their laptops.

Piezoelectric materials are substances that can convert mechanical energy to electricity. It was discovered by Pierre Curie in the 19th century and is being used in electric cigarette lighters.

Block materials like ceramics and crystals have been studied to produce power in the past, but researchers found that thin piezoelectric films can generate an acceptable amount of power. According to the scientists from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), they have measured the piezoelectric film’s capacity to turn mechanical pressure to electric power. It may sound silly, but it could lead to the creation of typing-powered laptops.

Researchers say that it will not go as far as powering the device entirely, but it can lead to the development of an ‘integrated microscale energy scavenging systems’ that can extend a device’s battery life.

The lead researcher, Dr. Madhu Bhaskaran, told ABC News Australia: “Currently the energy levels we’re able to generate is around ten times less than what’s required, so that’s the next step, to amplify it by ten times, so we can produce an everlasting battery or replace existing batteries. If we can amplify the power, which we think will take three years, it should be fairly quick to commercialize it.”

Does this sound like useful technology to you?

via: TG

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