Sound Charge Shirt Juices Up Gadgets Using Sound
Sound is all around us. It is the active element of nature that provides additional depth and dimension to the world that we are living in. We can tell certain properties of an object because of its sound for example. It also has many different applications, from simple alarms, sophisticated music, to hi-tech sonar equipment.
But according to this article, there is actually yet another great and innovative use for sound. The general plan of this idea is to use sound to…charge your gadgets?
That’s right. In a project that was created with the collaboration of Orange and GotWind, they were able to develop a prototype t-shirt that is capable of generating electricity for charging gadgets using sound. It is named as the Sound Charge, and as you can see in the featured image, it is a simple shirt with a special flexible charging “plate” on it, with the device being charged placed around the chest area.
Now, the design of the shirt might be cool and modern and all but, how exactly can that shirt charge your gadgets using sound? Let me give you a clue: “vibration energy”. What physical phenomenon causes electric energy to be produced through material compression and expansion? If you answered piezoelectricity, then you are absolutely correct. We have already seen the wonders of piezoelectricity before, and in fact it has been already discussed in our previous posts Piezoelectric Roads in Israel and California: Powering Up Cities as You DrivePiezoelectric Roads in Israel and California: Powering Up Cities as You Drive and Rain Energy: Power from the Cloudy Heavens and The Human Body: The Next Energy Factory.
For the Sound Charge, the vibrations from sound are the source that causes compression and expansion. The flexible piezoelectric film on the shirt is primarily composed of quartz crystals. Electricity is produced when the interlaced crystals become compressed by sound waves. So, as sound hits the special A4-sized piezoelectric film on the shirt, it charges a reservoir battery that can be used to juice up your gadgets. The developers confirmed that it is capable of generating up to 6 watt-hours of power when subjected to sound intensities of around 80 decibels (equivalent to the everyday noise generated by heavy urban areas).
Users of the shirt would also have nothing to worry when it comes to usage compatibility and maintenance. You can simply switch cables to charge the gadget that you need, and you can remove all electronics on it entirely when it needs washing.
Although you can eventually fully charge a mobile device using the Sound Charge, the way it charges and the capacity of the battery makes it actually more of an energy augmenter than an extra energy pack. It is most useful as a “throttle” to slow down the rate of energy use of your gadgets.
Orange advises that the most efficient type of sound that you can use for the shirt would be deep bass sounds. Does this mean the Sound Charge may be used at its fullest when you’re attending a concert, dance party, or a music festival?
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