What would happen if you could feed your smartphone with an energy from your body?
When was the last time you survived the whole day without using your smartphone? I am sure that this is possible, but why would you get rid of such a helpful thing in your daily life? Smartphones are our new 80th organ but external – yet.
In my project I present you a set of technological jewelry with a shoe insert that generates power while you walk. An easy and effortless way to accumulate an energy which you can use later to power your phone or do it while walking, if you want.
In my project I wanted to comment on our relationship with electronic devices that make our lives easier. We are surrounded by technology everywhere and the number of devices is only growing.
We see more and more objects that have worked perfectly fine without any additional functions, such as self-made beds that have a special mechanism to even out the linen after we wake up. Some of these ideas seem to be unreasonable to introduce into our daily lives. I thought to myself that we use a lot of electricity to recharge every electronic device that is sometimes not the first object needed to survive the day.
What would happen if we could only use electronics if the power to charge it came from our body? If we are so dependent on them, maybe it is time to make them dependent on us? How would this way of charging affect the amount of time spent in front of our smartphone if we had to walk for 4 hours to produce enough power to fully power our phone?
Overview of the Solution
After huge research about our relationship with technology and a rapid increase in the number of devices we use, I began to think about the amount of energy this electronics requires. I wanted to start a conversation about this issue. I decided I had to narrow down my analysis on one example to make it easier for the audience to understand. I chose a tool that everyone has in their pocket – a smartphone. It has become an extension of ourselves. Thanks to its sensors, constant connection to the Internet and software that every user can adapt to himself, it is an object that allows us to perform new activities. It is a tool without which it is difficult to imagine functioning. It has become part of our bodies – without it, we feel isolated, stressed, anxious, and even have mental disorders. If our relationship with phones is so strong, there may be a way to make them dependent on us. If they have become so important that we can easily call them a new organ, then maybe we should feed them the energy we will produce – analytically to the way our organs are fed by our bodies. We keep losing that energy without feeling it – we produce heat, move and breathe all the time. I wanted to find a way to accumulate this energy, which we lose anyway during our everyday activities.
I found piezoelectricity, which is a simple and affordable component that produces energy while pumping. This is the main part of my project. I design a shoe insole that produces energy while walking. Additional electronic components prepare and stabilize the electrical energy to the correct voltage so the battery can be charged.
I wanted to offer a solution that combines with tradition, known and familiar behaviors such as decorating your body with jewelry and makeup. This allows you to tame people distrustful of technology with a new proposal.
Besides the topic of the huge consumption of electricity, I wanted to start a conversation about the role of technology. The development of technology has made it easier for man to master the earth on such a scale as we see today. Our creations adapt to the external environment to our needs. As the only species, we are able to oppose the conditions of nature by our minds. This solution can be scaled for bigger surfaces so the energy that we need to consume can be made for “free”.
Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw,
Faculty of Design, Poland
Dr. Daniel Zieliński