Dashboard’s Response To The Energy Harvesting Bracelet
It is only today’s energy hungry, innovation driven world that not only allows scientists and developers to be experimental, but also drives them, sometimes unnecessarily so, to create devices that produce power. The latest example of this is the energy harvesting bracelet, a product of a team of researchers at Chongqing University, China.
The technology behind the bracelet is based on the movement of the wrist on the person wearing it. Any translational motion the wrist makes can be transformed into rotational movement of the free-floating magnetic field inside the bracelet (as seen the in the picture), which interacts with the electrical conductor creating voltage.
The creation of the bracelet raises two separate questions: firstly, what it can be used for and secondly, how it will fare in the existing energy market. Because of its rather small size, both the amount and storage of the energy is very limited, meaning powering high consuming gadgets is out of the question. This leaves only the options of either providing energy for small wearables, e.g. simple smart watches or attachable mini-screens, or prolonging the battery life of electronics, such as phones or music players.
With such a narrow range of uses, it is hard to imagine that the bracelet will be a natural fit in the already tight competition of energy producing technologies. It does not offer a new solution, but simply an alternative; a huge majority of electronics producers have shown their continued support and commitment to a number of long-lasting battery varieties instead of kinetic energy.
This leads to the thought of whether the demand has pushed the innovators too far, inventing products that will not necessarily be used or may be overshadowed by technologies more mature, powerful or commercially ready.
Stating this, we do not believe the bracelet is a waste of resources – we simply think it is not at the stage it should be at to provide real relief for the rising demand of energy. Instead, it could be an early prototype for the next generation of electronics with self-charging abilities. In no case do Dashboard wish to discourage innovation, as seen by our support for countless other items, but we must also be critical towards all electronics entering the market.