Generating Energy: The future of clothing

We think of clothing as something to keep us warm, or as a way to show our individuality and fashion sense. But have you ever thought about your clothing as a source of energy?

Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley are working on a way to embed nanotechnology into clothing to harness energy as we perform our routine daily tasks such as walking and exercising. The nano-electric fibers are so small, they are invisible to the naked eye. One day, researchers believe that clothing embedded with these fibers might generate enough energy to power our mobile devices and keep them fully charged.

That is only one study underway. At Stanford University, researchers there are working on making the actual cloth into conductive material. Their current project involves dipping cotton cloth into conductive ink, baking the coated fabric and then measuring the energy generated and harnessed by the fabric. Researchers believe that future iterations of their work might function as an energy storage device, again probably generating enough energy to power mobile devices.