You may recall an earlier discussion on this blog about the promise of Google Glass for journalism; one of the primary limits in that discussion was the fact that using Google Glass to record and share video ate up battery life like no tomorrow.
That is wear wearable batteries like the ones created by scientists at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. In the simplest of terms, the scientists have used tiny electrical components and nanomaterials to assemble a lithium-ion battery directly into fabric.
This allows the battery to fold and bend without losing function. Applying that to anything you’re wearing, and you essentially become a mobile battery for whatever device you’re using. While that may already be impressive, there is more.
The very same researchers were able to take this a step forward and attach solar cells to the battery fabric, creating wearable batteries that could charge themselves. With that, the clothes or other such batteries could be self-sustaining and independent of wired power sources.
This is all important because it potentially resolves a major issue of the tech that communicators such as ourselves will be using in the future. Technology used for monitoring, communications or even combat could benefit from having mobile batteries simply built into a user’s fabric. In the most direct application, this means that a device like Google Glass could interface with your t-shirt in order to draw power, while your t-shirt would ideally recharge via the sun.
The initial uses sound limited, and device developers are still working on ways to improve battery life without having to turn to such methods. The concept, however, is worth looking into.