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Scientists Continue To Research Clothing That Generates Electricity

By Brian Spaen

We’ve all seen contraptions in the past where people are pedaling a bike that's generating electricity. It’s similar to wind blowing or water rushing through turbines to rotate them and output that energy to consumers. Scientists have been trying to figure out a way to generate energy by the motions we make without the need for turbines, and they may have found a breakthrough with clothing.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst have been looking at a conducting polymer-coated fabric that can rub against each other and creates electricity. These polymers are multiple large molecules that have the ability to absorb that power. It’s enough to operate small devices (think watches, not smartphones) or LED lights.

That coating is simple to put on any fabric and whoever is wearing the attire, be it a shirt or a jacket, wouldn’t be able to notice it while moving around. It can even be taken care of properly with regular washing and ironing procedures. The only noticeable difference between a normal shirt to one that’s coated with polymer is slightly additional weight.