Sunday, October 03, 2004
Human Power Harvesting
Speaking of harvesting power from a shoe, I've just run across another interesting project at the National University of Singapore, human power harvesting. Included are a couple of shoe-based power harvesting options, one using piezoelectricity, and the other using mechanical power capturing (spring charging and release).
Also there is a device that captures vibrational movement and turns that into power as well.
Finally, there is a description of a Personal Area Network (PAN) whereby, presumedly, multiple on-person devices could communicate with each other using skin contact for message transmission. In the examples shown on the site, they use the PAN only for person-to-person communications (i.e. exchanging information on a handshake). This kind of thing has been in the news recently and I think Microsoft has patented something very much like this.
One thing that occurred to me while reading the PAN section is that you could provide a combination biometric/digital key for unlocking a door or a computer by pressing your thumbprint on a pad that scanned the image of your thumb for a match, and at the same time received an encrypted key from you through the PAN. Only when both were correct and in sync would access be provided.
If I haven't already mentioned it, all of the cool stuff from the University of Singapore comes from their Mixed Reality Lab, and a link to the current projects can be found here.