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Tech Trends for 2014: Powering Mobile Devices with Kinetic Energy

Mobile has really changed the way we live, hasn’t it? Not so long ago, when you were away from your desk, your clients and coworkers couldn’t reach you. When you and your sweetie had a date night, the only way for the babysitter to contact you was to call the restaurant. And if you had an accident, you had to walk to the nearest payphone to call for help.

Yes, mobile technology has come a very long way. But there’s one frustrating limitation. Battery life. Isn’t it crazy that, despite all of the exceptionally mind-blowing things we can do with our tablets and phones, we are still tethered to our chargers? It seems that with smartphones in hand, we could conquer the world – as long as there’s an outlet nearby.

But not all electronic devices are this way. Take the wristwatch, for example. My fellow Maestronaut, Tagg, pointed this out to me the other day and it really made me think. Several years ago, watchmakers began to harness kinetic energy to power their watches. That means the watch is powered by the movements of the person who wears it. I think that is so cool. In fact I liked the idea so much that I actually bought a Citizen Eco-Drive watch for my husband as a wedding gift almost 10 years ago. Nearly a decade later and it’s still ticking away.

So what if kinetic energy could be used to power our smartphones, too? Wouldn’t that be great? There are some new ideas in the way of phone chargers powered by kinetic energy, like Infinity Cell. But, at least for now, our devices simply use more energy than we can produce by our day-to-day movements. Much more.

But maybe it won’t always be that way. Imagine if your daily runaround could actually fuel your phone. If you could chat a little longer if you just ran a little farther. If you could send more texts just by climbing more steps. If you could download more apps by getting down on the dance floor. It’s pretty cool to think about, isn’t it?

Maybe 2014 will be the year. But as for now, I’ve got to go find an outlet before my phone dies…

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