IBM announced its sixth annual “Five Innovations That Will Change Our Lives within Five Years” list in December. On the list was the innovative idea of using new technology to harvest the kinetic energy produced from everyday activities.
The idea behind harvesting kinetic energy comes out of the knowledge that anything that moves or gives off heat is also giving off energy in the process. And that is energy that can be captured and used. IBM gives examples of daily activity that produces energy, including jogging, biking, walking and other everyday bodily movements, but kinetic energy also includes such things as the heat your computer gives off while in use, or the water flowing through your pipes in your home.
According to IBM, “Advances in renewable energy technology will allow individuals to collect this kinetic energy, which now goes to waste, and use it to help power our homes, offices and cities.”
By attaching devices to your bicycle wheels that collect energy as you pedal, or even devices to your shoes, there is the potential to harvest energy as you go about your day-to-day activities.
As described in a recent Earth Techling article, a new source of green energy that is just emerging is a kinetic energy playground, which would provide the means necessary to harvest the kinetic energy produced while children are actively frolicking with their friends at the park.