This Device Turns Your Sweaty Hands Into a Gadget Charger

Scientists have created a device that uses sweat from your fingertip to generate electricity. The flexible and thin strip wraps over the tip of a finger and converts sweat into small amounts of energy that can be used to charge your devices. 

Photo: isco/Unsplash

From Sweat to a Charger

Bioenergy harvesting-based self-powered wearable systems are known for demanding excessive energy inputs. Because it doesn’t require any real input from the user to work, research co-author Lu Yin, a nanoengineering Ph.D. student at UC San Diego, stated in a release that this gadget is “a step ahead to making wearables more practical, convenient, and accessible for the ordinary person.” Temporary tattoos that transform sweat into energy were previously tested by UC San Diego researchers.

The sweat glands on our fingers can produce 100 to 1,000 times more sweat than the rest of our bodies. But because sweat evaporates quickly from fingertips, it can be tricky to determine how sweaty they are. It is snatched up by this cutting-edge technology before it can reach it.

Still a Work In Progress

While this device can be used as a charger, it’s not time yet to throw out those tangled cords. According to the researchers, the device can hypothetically charge low-power electronics in the milliwatt range, such as a wristwatch, but it is not ready to power devices like smartphones.

Photo: Sincerely Media/Unsplash

The goal, according to Yin, is to make this a useful device. This isn’t yet another fancy device that produces a small quantity of energy and then disappears. People can use it as a charger and put the energy to good use by powering useful equipment like displays and sensors.