Imagine not ever having to recharge your iPad or Honeycomb tablet ever again. Well, sooner than later you may not have to imagine it because such technology is in the works which will power your touch screen tablet simply by swiping your fingers on the screen.
Researchers are currently developing a way to convert finger swipes on touch screen devices into electricity. This will ultimately power your tablet device and prevent the use for batteries all together. You would never have to plug your tablet into an electrical outlet ever again. This has many advantages such as saving you money on your monthly hydro bill and it would also be more environmentally friendly. You can vision the headlines already, they would read something like this; “Touch Screens Go Green“.
For gadgets that use such technology, chances are the price would increase a wee bit. This is reasonable though considering how much money you would save in the long run, not to mention your device would be more efficient as well meaning you wouldn’t have to put tasks on hold while waiting for your tablet to recharge.
So you’re likely wondering how this will work and/or how it’s even possible in the first place. This will all become a reality in the very near future with piezoelectric material and nanotechnology. To help put it into perspective for you, think of the lighter you use to ignite your BBQ. In order to generate a spark which lights your grill, a BBQ lighter uses something that is called piezoelectricity. In Greek “Piezo” means “pressure”. When you apply pressure to piezoelectric material it generates voltage. The amount of voltage depends on how much of the material and how exactly the material is being used. There are various types of crystalline materials that have piezoelectric behavior. Examples include Rochelle salt as well as Quartz crystals which are used in digital watches or clocks.
Let’s explain how such technology can be used to create self-powered portable tablets. Researchers in Australia, lead by Dr Madhu Bhaskaran, are currently testing ways to harness electricity from your finger swipes by using a very thin energy generating film. The result would be the conversion of pressure into electrical energy which would then power microchips that power your device. There’s no doubt Madhu and her intelligent group of researchers have their work cut out for them. They are certainly on to something huge though which will ultimately change the way portable technology works and also how microchips are manufactured and designed. Despite however long it takes to perfect this technology they are on pace to coming up with a solution that will be a guaranteed game changer. It’s only a matter of time when children laugh at their parents for at one point having to physically plug devices into a wall.