Rub to charge, with a sheet of teflon
Basically, rubbing a conductive sheet with teflon creates a voltage, and basic interactions – such as displaying images, simple animations and lighting LEDs – can be supported.
Possible applications could be to tun on an e-magazine by rubbing pages together, or rubbing an e-ink watch to show the time when out of power.
Hal Hodson picks up the story:
The Teflon is given a negative charge by rubbing it with paper before it is sandwiched between two thin sheets of metal foil. Because Teflon is a type of material known as an electret – one which produces its own electrostatic charge – it holds this small charge for many years.
When the user rubs or taps the foil, current flows from the negatively charged Teflon through the positively charged foil, creating a circuit. The foil is wired to whatever electronics the device is powering. The prototype can produce 44 milliwatts of power, enough to run an array of LEDs or e-ink display. The device also works if a single sheet of foil is rubbed with a sheet of Teflon.
Project leader Ivan Poupyrev says Paper Generators are promising because the materials are inexpensive: “The cheapness of this technology is amazing. We can print it on the walls, tables and chairs. It’s scalable to massive sizes like no other technology. You could think about an entire building covered with this, generating power from the wind blowing past it.”