Researchers at the Wake Forest University’s Center for Nanotechnology and Molecular Materials have developed a new fabric that uses thermoelectrics to charge devices. Dubbed the ‘Power Felt,’ the material can produce an electrical charge through temperature changes, such as the user touching the device with their finger, or simply sitting on it.
What this essentially means is that a cellphone case using Power Felt material could recharge the mobile when its in someone’s palm or pocket. Another application for the material could be a jacket that keeps the wearer cool in summer and warm in winter. Current thermoelectric materials can cost up to $1,000 per kilogram, but a Power Felt team member suggests that the cost could be drastically reduced with their new design.