Future wearable electronic clothing could be charged by our own body heat

Wearable electronics powered by the user's own body heat could help tackle the issue of how to storage energy. Image credit - pxhere.com/licenced under CC0

by Sarah Wild Thanks to rapid computing developments in the last decade and the miniaturisation of electronic components, people can, for example, track their movements and monitor their health in real time by wearing tiny computers. Researchers are now looking at how best to power these devices by turning to the user’s own body heat and working … Read more

Lightweight, bendy, cheaper – the promise of organic solar panels

Organic 'solar trees', demonstrated at Expo 15 in Milan, Italy, give a glimpse of lightweight, flexible solar cells in action. Image credit - ARMOR/GerArchitektur

Today’s silicon solar panels are an industry standard, but these rigid, heavy blocks may be shunted aside by plastic rivals – lightweight, flexible solar panels that could be printed and stuck onto buildings or placed in windows or cars, turning light into electricity in locations inaccessible to their heavier cousins. The standard solar panels we … Read more

Transparent electronic books and human-looking robots: the new field of ‘organic electronics’

Organic electronics are flexible and already being used to make curved screens but future applications could include biosensors and bendable solar panels. Image credit - Maurizio Pesce/Wikimedia, licenced under CC BY 2.0

Electronics made from carbon rather than silicon could lead to a new generation of medical devices, sensors and perhaps even robots, according to Professor Andreas Hirsch, chair of organic chemistry at Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany. Materials such as graphene could soon be appearing in electronic devices and could lead to entirely new forms of ‘chemical’ … Read more