Techies’ Preview

Body Heat for Gadgets

In time it might be possible to power gadgets using body heat. That is if the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits research results hit the market. As the related Yahoo Tech news bit puts it:

…they are developing special circuits that use body heat. These could lead to battery-less cell phones and medical monitors that draw energy from their users.

The new circuits utilize the principle of thermoelectric generators (TEG) made from semiconductor elements… the TEGs extract electrical energy simply from the temperature difference between a hot and a cold environment. Normally, a difference of several tens of degrees would be required in order to generate enough power, but the difference between the body’s surface temperature and that of its environment is only a few degrees. To boost the energy, they combined a number of components that store up the energy until there’s enough to operate the electronic device.

Laptop Battery Tidbits

Andrew Pollack’s recent problem with Dell’s service eventually brought about an interesting article on laptop batteries. Andrew’s one of the Notes gurus out there and his entry focuses on something I didn’t give much attention to despite years of using mobile computers. Especially useful are the tips on their usage.

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