Exactly, MyDesign. Energy-harvesting is really growing but it's not like it's suddenly going to replace batteries or traditional means of power. I think the research into both areas, as you point out, has to be on parallel tracks and I also think the two are complementary, not necessarily competitive, technologies. That's the case with some of the research, in which there is a harvester that does some of the work while batteries do the rest.
"I think the demand for energy is growing at too fast a pace for typical means to constantly support it. Still, innovations in new battery designs also will keep batteries in play for the forseeable future."
Elizabeth, you are right. when new technologies are deriving for various applications from alternate energy sources are deriving, similar inventions has to happen in preserving/storing that energy too. both has to be synchronized, otherwise we won't be able to derive the full benefit of new technology.
I agree, MyDesign, the way forward is to take the energy that can be generated from so many sources other than chemical-based batteries or electricial wires. I think the demand for energy is growing at too fast a pace for typical means to constantly support it. Still, innovations in new battery designs also will keep batteries in play for the forseeable future.
"I am imagining that one day one of these energy-harvesting systems will be strong enough to power a mobile phone, whether they harvest from solar, vibration, the heat of human touch--whatever! It seems like this technology is progressing quite fast so someone far more intelligent than me can come up with something soon."
Elizabeth, the seed is good and I think research community had start working on that. Alternate energy sources (solar, vibration, wind etc) are the only reliable energy source for future.
A middle school team from Rochester, Mich., has again nabbed the grand prize in the annual international Future City Competition, which drew students from 37 regions of the United States, as well as from England and China.
The word “smart” is becoming the dumbest word around. It has been applied to almost every device and system in our homes. In addition to smartphones and smart meters, we now hear about smart clothing and smart shoes, smart lights, smart homes, smart buildings, and every trendy city today has its smart city project. Just because it has a computer inside and is connected to the Web, does not mean it is smart.
Are you being paid enough? Do you want a better job? According to a recent survey Manpower released just before Engineers Week, employers and engineers don't see eye-to-eye about the state of US engineers' skills and experience.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.