A US scientist has invented a fabric that could be used to generate power from the movements of the wearer, New Scientist reports.
The fabric is made of piezo-electric zinc oxide nanowires (of course) attached to a conductive plate. When the plate is pushed down the wires bend, producing a voltage that flows into the plate.
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta have figured out how to weave the nanowires Kevlar fibre which can in turn be made into clothes, or just about anything for that matter.
Lead scientist Zhong Lin Wang estimates that the fabric should be capable of generating about 80 milliwatts of electricity per square metre, enough to charge a cellphone battery or other personal electronics from the ordinary motions of a shirt or a curtain blowing in the wind. Cool.