Tuesday, 26 January 2010
One of the ways we will integrate with our computing technology in the future is to wear it, as I have blogged about before. One important component of this is how to power the devices we wear. Scientists have now presented how a coating of carbon nanotube 'ink' on ordinary polyester or cotton fabrics can store electrical energy. The interwoven fibres of such materials are ideal absorbers for for the billionth of a metre across carbon tubes. Once coated, stretching or washing the fabric leaves the electrical characteristics of the material intact. Previously this type of approach has been identified as working on paper, but fabrics open up a whole new world of wearable computing possibilities. Combined with other wearable components such as solar cells means that the wearable batteries could be charged while being worn.