But energy-harvesting technologies for use in wearable designs show promise, in spite of four key engineering challenges: 1) the power they generate; 2) how they manage and store that power; 3) the size of their harvesting elements; and 4) the cost.
Battery sources are capturing new forms of solar, thermal and vibrational energy in ways that extend the charge-life of wearable devices by days, weeks and months – including an evaluation board developed by Silicon Lab, which uses a solar cell source that measures only .17mm high and can hold power for up to 7 days in the dark.
There is indeed great potential for harvested energy in the future of medical device design. But the question remains: Just how scalable are these technologies, in terms of minimizing their size and cost, and maximizing their reproducibility for broad commercialization?
(Image: Pixomar at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)