Warm Watts for Wireless
A tiny new generator that produces electricity from small variations in temperature could turn people into power packs for medical implants and clear the way for complex wireless monitoring systems.
Makers of tiny wireless sensors used for tracking vital signs of people in their homes or watching environmental conditions in large buildings have long faced a power problem: Batteries only last so long. And they can be difficult to replace or recharge in a device implanted, for example, inside a person's thigh.
But a breakthrough in miniaturization promises to tap unlimited power with small, implantable thermoelectric generators capable of producing electricity from ambient heat.