Parametric Generators could power your watch with street noise

We’ve heard of wind harvesting, wi-fi harvesting, and even corpse harvesting, but who would have thought to harvest the energy from traffic noise and all the other ever-present vibrations of the city?

Some researchers at the University of Michigan are putting together a variety of battery that gets its power from irregular, low-frequency vibrations — a person walking up stairs, for instance, or the vibration of a moving car. Since the generator isn’t keyed to a specific frequency, it can harvest power from a variety of sources.

Not a lot of power, of course — current yield is about half a milliwatt. But that’s plenty of power for small devices like watches, or pacemakers, replacing the battery of which can be a serious problem. I doubt you and I will see too much of this technology in our day to day lives, but you can be sure it’ll benefit quite a few people down the line.