Imagine using your laptop and powering it up by simply using the keyboard. If you think about it, it starts to make sense because if the power typing could be harnessed, it could be used to generate electricity. Researchers have started to experiment with this idea by using a piezoelectric film.
A team of researchers from Australia’s RMIT University think that this is possible. It will rely on a thin piezoelectric film built into laptops to convert mechanical pressure into electrical energy. Their research has focused on studying how much energy can be captured using this method – currently around 1/10th the amount needed to power your average gadget. Their next step will be to figure out how to amplify the power stored, so it could be useful.
For now, the tech isn’t ready to be mass produced , so you’ll have to wait a while before powering your laptop by simply using the keyboard or trackpad. But the concept could someday lead to piezoelectrics in your shoes and clothes to power your mobile phones, pacemakers powered by blood pressure, and so on. I wonder when I’ll have my first piezoelectric keyboard.