A few years ago, we wrote about the Belgium/Netherlands based research center IMEC that created a wireless EEG powered by person’s own body heat. Fashion must have changed over four years, because the same body heat to electricity conversion technology has moved from IMEC’s very unattractive looking head-worn device to completely hidden integration inside a standard shirt.
The EEG component has been eliminated, but IMEC says that the shirt, which consists of 16 “thermopiles” (the components responsible for generating electricity from body heat), is capable of producing anywhere from 1mW when the wearer is sitting at room temperature to 4mW when he is running. By comparison, most portable electronic medical devices only require about 0.4mW to operate.
Overall, the thermoelectric generator part of the shirt is only 5mm thick, which helped make the design of the shirt much more comfortable than previous prototypes. Moreover, the design of this shirt has been tweaked so the thermoelectric effect doesn’t leave the wearer feeling cold when too much heat is drawn from the body.
Article from The Engineer: Shirt capable of converting body heat into electricity
Flashback: Wireless EEG Powered by Body Heat