Exploring: Energy Generative Wearables

Back-up plan to thesis?

Tommy Hilfiger’s cellphone charging coat

The wearables in my future represent a stronger relationship between humans, technology, and the world around them. I also believe in a future where technology enables Freedom, Autonomy, Equality, Adaptability, Sustainability, and Inclusivity.

In the year 2050, the ecological state of the Earth will have undoubtedly changed. Natural disasters have destroyed infrastructure and economies are thriving from sustainable and renewable energy. Thus, this has forced humans to adapt and become more intelligent in stewarding energy and resources. Human consciousness has evolved as well. With the prevalence of Big Data and AI, we will gain a better understanding on our impact on the planet, in fact, our survival depends on it.

At the core of everything we do, we use power. To use our phones, computers, smart watches. We need power for buildings, transportation, and even cook our food. I suspect this won’t change in the future. Our continued need to convert energy to power will continue but I believe the form of that MUST change. I’m envisioning an energy system that reflects that relationship between our personal consumption of power and it’s impact on our surroundings.

Imagine wearing a jacket but it’s made out of a solar textile that can collect energy as you walk around. Passively, you’re collecting energy but actively, you can be using it. It can also become your personal battery source, converting that solar to wireless electricity, ready to power any device at your disposal. Whatever wireless connected device you have, like your AR contacts is powered by proximity. This also means that not all devices that require energy need to be on all the time. It only activates at the presence of a human that wants to use it.

But what if you personal energy consumption becomes a new currency? What if we can incentivize people to use less energy, like getting a tax credit. It’s also easy to track your actual use of energy with this solar textile. As long as you’re wearing clothes with this material, your personal energy consumption can be logged seamlessly. By the end of every month you can get a personal summary of what you use and how much energy you generated and used.

I like the idea of a wearable that’s unobtrusive but still under the control of a human. Taking off your solar fabric clothes is a way of being “off the grid” and a way to disconnect from the world. But at it’s core, it supports the use of electronics while being conscious with how that impacts our planet.

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