All Charged Up! How Clothes Are Now Powering Devices.
Last year, Google joined the battery arms race in an effort to provide better batteries to power the Internet of Things (IoT). Given the launch and increasing popularity of the Apple Watch, more and more people are looking for ways to keep their devices charged all day.
One solution has been to buy an exterior battery case for your phone. And while this solution certainly does the job, many people have found this option too bulky for use; they're not exactly thrilled at having yet another device to charge up at night, either.
But, now, companies are answering the challenge, designing solutions that integrate users' need for power with their daily activities.
1. Charging your phone from your jacket
Innovative companies such as Evolution Wear have come up with a clever way to keep mobile devices charged, using solar panels integrated into the user's jacket. Think about it: You’re outside during the day, and you always have your device on you. You're charging your device simply walking around outside. It makes a lot of sense.
This is just the beginning. Solar power is the most immediate, efficient green technology option, and your clothes will continue to get "smarter" and serve more functional purposes.
2. Motion-powered fabrics
It's not available yet. But scientists are working on textile-based nanotechnology that uses friction to convert mechanical energy from body movements into electricity. Imagine having your body movements power your smaller electronics.
“It’s an exciting time in history, when fashion merges with technology,” says Saum G (he uses an initial only), co-founder of Evolution Wear. “Solar power solves an immediate need, but it’s just the beginning. Our clothing has evolved, and it’s impressive how affordable wearable technology is today and will continue to be tomorrow.”
3. More Wearable Technology
If you really want to go “all in” on wearable technology, you don’t have to look far. After you’ve purchased your solar jacket, the next thing you might consider is a pair of GPS Smart Soles. This is exactly what you think they are -- insoles for your shoes that are GPS-enabled so that you can “keep connected to who matters most.”
The line between creepy and cool is a fine one. But GPS Smart Soles are like Lo Jack for your family members. They were specifically designed for:
- Seniors suffering from Alzheimer’s/dementia
- Teens and young adults with autism
- Athletes and veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Anyone who could potentially wander off and require oversight
It is truly an incredible time to be alive. So many of the technologies we dreamed of as kids have come to fruition. I can call and text my friends and family members from my watch. I can track my exercise and activities from that same watch or a Fitbit.
And before any of my devices demand to be recharged, I can plug them into my solar-powered jacket to recharge them while I'm on the go. The future looks even brighter as we continue to evolve the incredible technology that we have today.
But this isn’t the future. This is now. What an age we live in!