“Reverse Electrowetting”: Sounds like a torture technique, but COULD power your phone some day?

We all know how frustrating it can be when your phone’s battery dies JUST when you need it most…  You’re driving along late at night, and your engine starts to smoke and stutter.  You get out of your car, lift the hood to find Gremlins eating the wires after midnight “Gizmo CA CA!” you grab your phone to call AAA (’cause they have the brightest headlights) and it won’t turn on, ’cause you forgot to charge it…

Imagine your SHOE being your saving grace in that situation, or ANY situation regarding your phone’s battery!  Researchers  at the University of Wisconsin are working towards  making that a reality (the shoe thing, not the Gremlins).  It was announced earlier this week that a project has been started to harvest the energy generated from a shoe while in motion (on someone’s foot, while walking not by your wife throwing them at you) and sending that energy to a mobile device.

In short, the plan is to install an “Energy Harvester” or intermediate transceiver in a shoe, transferring collected energy through nano-tubes to serve as a sort of energy hot spot so that the phones won’t have to work so hard to talk to their respective networks, prolonging battery life up to 10 TIMES.

This technology (if it’s actually made a reality) would not only save us from late night wire eating Gremlins, but it could also do a lot for the environment!  I had an idea similar once, but no one was willing to attach the equipment to a cow’s butt, and follow it around to “Harvest energy”, so I guess this will have to do…

I REALLY dumbed what I read down, so in case I missed anything, here are the sources available:

Original Source: My Fiancee reading KTVU (Thanks for the story, baby!)

KTVU’s Source: CNN

CNN’s Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison

UPDATE:  DAMMIT, now I have the Gremlins theme stuck in my head…



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