It isn't quite the next-gen battery technology we are all waiting for, but it certainly is a step in the right direction. The folks from Vodafone have announced a number of prototype charging systems for our Android gadgets. Imagine your phone charging from a sleeping bag while camping, or even while walking around a night downtown - all based on your heat, and movement.
Over in the UK this summer Vodafone will be hosting a festival full of future and upcoming tech, and these so called "Recharge Bags and Power Shorts" will begin trials and the testing phase all festival long. I don't know about you guys, but I'd be perfectly fine with most festival-goers to be rocking the shorts shown below, but that's just me.
Research began back in 2003 and the system uses thermoelectric materials developed by the Electronics and Computer Science Department at the University of Southampton, UK,. Working with special next-gen printed circuits that can convert heat into power. The same technology is also being developed into fabric, and that's where both heat and movement from shorts or pants can power your smartphone for up to 4 additional hours. That's enough to get through a night at the club.
Did we lose your attention? While the shorts do look nice, it's the underlying technology that really piques our interest here. While this new tech may seem like a gimmick, the potential now and in the future is huge. Being able to get a full 4 hours of additional battery life from your shorts, or 8 hours of sleeping in the bag delivering 11 hours of stand-by to your smartphone is a big deal here. And this is only the beginning.
These recharge bags and (good looking) power shorts will be available during the Vodafone festival this summer in the UK, and hopefully we see more things of this nature moving forward. Print this technology on the bottom of my shoes to then wirelessly charge my phone, and we're set.