Energy Harvesting Gains Steam


Energy harvesting is gaining traction with a surge in ultra-low-power IoT applications, ranging from inventory tracking, wearables and drones, to vibration sensors for motors in industrial settings. The idea that machines could run without batteries—or that energy could be harvested either from motion or ambient sound waves or chemical reactions to augment battery power—has been in the w... » read more

The Next Generation Of Wearables


As the wearable market begins to take root, so has the focus on ultra-low power design—with some unique headaches that are unique to wearables. To begin with, there is much attention being paid to this market because of the almost staggering predictions associated with it. While numbers vary greatly, IDC predicts as many as 126 million units will be shipping annually by 2019. The five-year... » read more

Energy Harvesting Makes Progress


The dream of a self-powered device has been around for a long time—thousands of years, in fact. The first windmills and waterwheels date back to ancient Greece and the beginning of recorded history. Self-winding timepieces date back to the late 1700s. The Foucault pendulum has been in motion in Paris, minus some brief hiatuses, since 1851. And it's been 144 years since two French physicists d... » read more

Micro-Power Energy Harvesting


Since the beginning of the human race’s self-awareness, people have strived to harness the planet’s free energy sources; wind, solar, thermal and hydro. On a macro scale, man’s dreams have come to fruition. The next frontier is capturing energy on a micro scale. On the macro front, there are massive corridors of energy powered by wind and solar developments, which generate megawatts of... » read more

The Gleaning Power of Piezo


By Brian Fuller The inventor and green-tech missionary Trevor Baylis walked 100 miles across an African desert nearly 10 years ago to prove piezoelectric technology could power a cell phone. It was an interesting story that quickly faded from memory, as the technology was deemed clever but impractical. Enter Elizabeth Redmond and Andrew Katz, who have taken Baylis’ inspiration and piezo’s... » read more

Life Without Batteries Or Wires


By Ed Sperling In portable devices, low-power design has always been about stretching out the amount of time between battery charges or replacement. But the focus of current research throws that approach to the wind. The new goal is to get rid of batteries altogether and generate power using a variety of different mechanisms ranging from differences in temperature, the motion of waves, static... » read more