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Disney Develops Energy-Harvesting Finger-Touch Tech

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Elizabeth M
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Will be interesting to see how it's used commercially
Elizabeth M   11/11/2013 11:44:24 AM
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I imagine Disney has some inventions up its sleeve for this technology. I'm sure it will be a boon to kids' toys, games and also promotional materials.

Charles Murray
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Re: Will be interesting to see how it's used commercially
Charles Murray   11/11/2013 7:01:01 PM
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I'm sure you're right, Liz. It's unlikely Disney would do this unless they had a very specific application in mind.

Mydesign
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Re: Will be interesting to see how it's used commercially
Mydesign   11/12/2013 12:29:10 AM
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"I imagine Disney has some inventions up its sleeve for this technology. I'm sure it will be a boon to kids' toys, games and also promotional materials."

Elizabeth, no doubt for that. actually most of the parents are tired of changing the cells frequently, for their kids toys. Some mechanism for converting the toy activity to a self powering mode will be very good.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Will be interesting to see how it's used commercially
Elizabeth M   11/12/2013 8:21:37 AM
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Again, MyDesign, you make a very good point. If enough power could be generated to power the entire toy and not just some kind of light or gizmo on the top, then this technology would be even more useful.

GTOlover
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Re: Will be interesting to see how it's used commercially
GTOlover   11/12/2013 12:45:44 PM
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How about energy harvesting the button push of the TV remote! Never have to replace the remote control batteries.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Will be interesting to see how it's used commercially
Elizabeth M   11/13/2013 3:46:22 AM
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Now that is a fine idea, GTOLover. How annoying is it to continuously push the button of the remote to try to change a channel with no success and then realize you're out of batteries and have to go searching around for some. I'm sure that can be done.

Battar
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Re: Will be interesting to see how it's used commercially
Battar   11/13/2013 9:22:52 AM
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GTOlover,

               Has it ever occurred to you to place a selenium PV cell on the remote and harvest the light energy emitted by your TV to power the device?

If you find youself periodically replacing the batteries on the remote, it's a sure sign that you watch too much TV.

GTOlover
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Re: Will be interesting to see how it's used commercially
GTOlover   11/13/2013 9:49:33 AM
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Battar,

Great idea. As for the TV watching, I rarely watch, but the TV is 200+ channels of uselessness. When I do sit down to watch, the remote is in constant use channel surfing. I usually end up turning off the TV and working on one of my hobbies.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Will be interesting to see how it's used commercially
Ann R. Thryft   11/15/2013 11:49:01 AM
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I have to agree with Battar about TV. I don't have TV; I have Netflix. Once in awhile I find a (usually older) series I like, usually science fiction. Otherwise, I'm reading books.

Mydesign
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Re: Will be interesting to see how it's used commercially
Mydesign   11/14/2013 6:52:53 AM
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"you make a very good point. If enough power could be generated to power the entire toy and not just some kind of light or gizmo on the top, then this technology would be even more useful."

Elizabeth, I had seen similar thing in Chinese toys. Toys are working with a mechanical key and we have to key it before it starts. When it performs, the mechanical movements are converting into electrical energy for performing other functionalities like sound, light, obstruct detection etc.

Battar
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Re: Will be interesting to see how it's used commercially
Battar   11/13/2013 9:29:00 AM
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Mydesign,

              you say " Some mechanism for converting the toy activity to a self powering mode will be very good"

That sounds like a recipe for a perpetual motion machine. I'm waiting to see the prototype. On the other hand, if you have an idea how I can harvest my 3 boys' excess energy for useful purpose (there is plenty, efficiency is not an issue), then you have my full and undivided attention.

Mydesign
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Re: Will be interesting to see how it's used commercially
Mydesign   11/14/2013 6:56:48 AM
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"That sounds like a recipe for a perpetual motion machine. I'm waiting to see the prototype. On the other hand, if you have an idea how I can harvest my 3 boys' excess energy for useful purpose (there is plenty, efficiency is not an issue), then you have my full and undivided attention."

Batter, I had seen similar thing in Chinese toys, but not fully self powered. Toys have some mechanical keys and we have to tight the key for starting. When it performs, the mechanical movements are converting into electrical energy for performing other functionalities like sound, light, obstruct detection etc. The drawback is while performing, the key will rotate in ant-clock wise direction and decreases to zero, where the toy stops. We have to restart the same program.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Will be interesting to see how it's used commercially
Ann R. Thryft   11/15/2013 11:48:12 AM
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I think my favorite energy-harvesting stories are like this one: the device requires very little input energy to do something both noticeable and useful. And who knew that Disney was involved in research?



Elizabeth M
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Re: Will be interesting to see how it's used commercially
Elizabeth M   11/18/2013 3:50:26 AM
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Ann, you make a good point about Disney--I wasn't aware they were involved in much research, either! That alone was news to me. The fact that it's pretty interesting and forward-thinking (as well as environmentally friendly) as well was also a surprise.

Mydesign
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piezoelectric devices
Mydesign   11/12/2013 12:26:37 AM
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"Researchers at Disney have developed a technology that can generate enough energy from the movement of a fingertip to light a string of LEDs or to control lights or other electrical components on e-paper or printed materials."

Elizabeth, it's possible to generate a small amount of energy through the figure tip touch. In piezoelectric devices, energy can convert from one form to another by various means. By touch, the element can convert the touch force to an equivalent energy.

Elizabeth M
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Re: piezoelectric devices
Elizabeth M   11/12/2013 8:20:34 AM
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Thanks for your comment, Mydesign. It does seem like it is the touch and the movement that combine to generate energy in Disney's method.

Jack B
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Iron
Re: piezoelectric devices
Jack B   11/13/2013 3:09:01 PM
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It will be interesting to see where this could lead to in the future. With conductive paints, and paper circuits the printed page may never be the same. Scaling it up you could harvest the energy of people walking over a surface or traffic rolling over a highway. Great write-up!

Elizabeth M
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Re: piezoelectric devices
Elizabeth M   11/14/2013 3:45:24 AM
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Conductive paints sound like a really interesting idea, too, Jack B. And a company called Pavegen already has invented energy-harvesting tiles that use people's footfalls, which is really quite cool: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=262295

Thanks for the comment and your compliment.

Mydesign
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Re: piezoelectric devices
Mydesign   11/14/2013 6:48:35 AM
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"It does seem like it is the touch and the movement that combine to generate energy in Disney's method."

Elizabeth, that's great. Then that's a piezoelectric technology, where any form of stress and pressure can be convert into equivalent form of electricity.

Cadman-LT
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Charge?
Cadman-LT   11/12/2013 11:22:45 AM
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Elizabeth, make a suit of this stuff...plug in your cell phone...never run out of power.

Cadman-LT
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Re: Charge?
Cadman-LT   11/12/2013 11:28:20 AM
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Better yet...a jogging suit...with a small backpack....charge all of your batteries for your devices while you take your morning jog.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Charge?
Elizabeth M   11/13/2013 3:43:15 AM
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Sounds like a good idea, Cadman-LT, but how would that work exactly? :)

Habib Tariq
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Power generating keyboard
Habib Tariq   11/17/2013 3:21:39 AM
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There is a similar idea circulating around where power can be generated from keyboard strokes and mouse movement. Piezoelectric crystals can be used for power generation. This can be deployed in laptops and can be used to increase battery's running time.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Power generating keyboard
Elizabeth M   11/18/2013 3:41:06 AM
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That's really interesting, Habib. Are you or do you know of anyone working on this technology? I could see that really being useful, as laptop batteries still drain too quickly for the real power computer user.

Habib Tariq
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Re: Power generating keyboard
Habib Tariq   11/19/2013 11:07:47 PM
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A team of researchers from Australia's RMIT University have been working on the concept of everlasting battery, and they think this possible. Their research has focused on studying how much energy can be captured using this method and currently around 1/10th the amount needed to power your average gadget is produced. Their next step would be to figure out on how to amplify the power stored, so it could be useful.
So work is being done in the similar lines. It will take some time before this technology actually takes a proper shape but will be worth the wait.

for reference: http://www.rmit.edu.au/browse;ID=x7phmev409181

Habib Tariq
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Re: Power generating keyboard
Habib Tariq   11/19/2013 11:16:50 PM
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As a side note, laptop batteries have improved significantly since the release of 4th Gen processors. Intel claimed that it would increase the battery life by around 50%. Well the 50% case does not remain valid under all situations but yes battery life for laptops using 4th gen processor has increased. I am myself using a 4th gen processor and finally I am satisfied with my laptop's battery life.  

Elizabeth M
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Re: Power generating keyboard
Elizabeth M   11/20/2013 7:53:46 AM
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You make a good point, Habib. Laptop batteries have indeed improved a lot over time but I still think they can be better. I recently bought a new Mac that has a two-hour-longer battery life than my old Mac and I definitely feel the difference, but I still could use even more juice sometimes.

AnandY
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Gold
Re : energy from fingers
AnandY   11/24/2013 12:17:05 PM
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It is common knowledge that our bodies have some electricity but who would have thought our fingers could be used to generate energy and not simply control its flow. Fingers work with energy everyday starting from simple operations like flipping a switch to light a bulb. Now they actually light a bulb using their own energy.

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