Researchers at the Institute of Technology in Georgia, has developed a smart fabric that generates electricity from sunlight and movement, which is stored in the fabric’s fibers. The aim was to harvest energy from our living environment with fabric, which will in turn power electronics and wearables.
The process has been in development for the last 11 years. The material had to be lightweight and flexible and able to generate electricity from friction and sunlight and store the energy.
The prototype is only 35 square inches and not as flexible or thin as hoped, so more development and testing will have to be done to perfect the end goal of making the material more practical and longer lasting. The performance also needs improving as the more power that is generated by the material, the better.