An anonymous reader writes: Researchers at Georgia Tech have been developing an alternative method of harnessing energy from our movement that relies on static electricity and friction. A system has been developed whereby two layers of differing materials can be brought into contact and produce enough energy through friction to power lights or even charge a cell phone battery.
One of those layers is made from polyethylene terephthalate plastic. The other is a sheet of metal. Both surfaces have a nanoscale structure printed on them to increase their surface area and therefore the energy generation potential. It is thought a 5cm2 patch could produce enough energy to charge a cell phone battery. And the movement required? Anything from simply breathing through a brisk walk or a session at the gym.