NZ researchers working on clothing that generates electricity

With electricity prices on the rise throughout much of Australia, some people might be turning to non-traditional ways of generating power in order to supplement their needs.

Rooftop solar panels and residential-sized wind turbines are just two examples of innovative new technologies that some adventurous people are utilising to reduce their reliance on electricity suppliers.

But now scientists from Auckland University's Bioengineering Institute in New Zealand are taking this sort of outside the box thinking to a whole new level.

The team have recently been working on circuitry designed to generate power from a rubbery compound which can be worn as clothing or inserted into the heels of your shoes, reports.

"Previously 'artificial muscle' generators were seen as impracticable because they required bulky, rigid and expensive external electronics ... our artificial muscle generators, because of their circuitry, are lightweight, inexpensive and compact," team member Ben O'Brien told Stuff in an article published today (July 24).

"One idea some other people have floated is using shoes as portable 'hot spots' so your phone only has to connect a short distance, preserving its battery."

Don't start throwing away your power leads just yet though; the technology is still being developed and its potential uses aren't yet entirely known. 

Nonetheless, it's exciting news for the future of electricity generation and a sustainable future.

Posted by Charlie Moore