BioEnergy: Harvesting Power from the Body to Run Devices

Computing Evolution: from mainframes to PCs, portables and embedded devicesAs computing devices shrink in size, price and power consumption, they are being embedded in all sorts of everyday objects, including light bulbs, hearing aids, and even the human body. But what happens in 8-10 years when the pacemaker battery wears out? Today that requires another operation to replace it, but in the foreseeable future medical devices might be powered by the body itself, from heart beats, blood flow, lung contractions and arm and leg movements, as well as by electrical energy already produced by the inner ear.

That’s the message of the Wall Street Journal video below, which shows researchers investigating ways to harness the body’s energy – such as heat, sound and movement – to power medical devices.

Pacemakers, hearing aids, insulin pumps and pain-management devices may all eventually function without changing batteries. And harnessing the body’s energy could also prompt other developments and innovative medical technologies, including ones that monitor the body’s inner workings.

Summarized from the Wall Street Journal article.

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