Wall chargers and portable power banks like our MimoPower line is what we rely on today to make sure our mobile devices don’t die while we’re on the go. But there’s a ton of R&D under way discovering strange new alternative power sources.

Here’s a round up of five power technologies from the future:

1. Saliva as Fuel. What? Really?! Yes…Really.

Chemists at Penn State University and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University have discovered that small medical testers — things like glucose and ovulation sensors — could soon be powered by your own saliva.

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High-magnification micrograph of a salivary gland. (Wikipedia/Nephron)

High-magnification micrograph of a salivary gland. (Wikipedia/Nephron)

2. Body Heat. Thermal Energy

Thanks to a new invention by scientists in Korea, heat that escapes the body can be converted into energy using the generator that can be curved along with the shape of the body.

The researchers developed the glass fabric-based thermoelectric generator to be light and flexible which could help to further commercialise wearable technology.

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There’ll soon be no need to ever take off wearable technology as your body heat will be able to run a generator to keep it powered-up.

There’ll soon be no need to ever take off wearable technology as your body heat will be able to run a generator to keep it powered-up.

3. Sloshing Salt Water

The researchers simply placed single drops of sea water (and other ionic solutions) on top of strips of monolayer graphene. They then dragged the wet material around and in doing so, discovered the physical movement resulted in the generation of electricity. Adding more drops or increasing the velocity of the dragging further increased the amount of voltage created.

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Researchers at China’s Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics have discovered the act of dragging saltwater over graphene creates electricity

Researchers at China’s Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics have discovered the act of dragging saltwater over graphene creates electricity

4. Sugar-Filled Batteries

Sugar gives humans energy, so why not batteries, too? Researchers at Virginia Tech are developing what amounts to fuel cells, but with a sugar solution rather than hydrogen. Other attempts at sugar batteries have been made, but this one has an energy density that blows other versions out of the water. That means it can run for a much longer time before refueling is necessary.

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Y.H. Percival Zhang (right)and Zhiguang Zhu display a sugar battery.

Y.H. Percival Zhang (right) and Zhiguang Zhu display a sugar battery.

5. No Wall Outlet? No Charging Cables? No Problem!

Wireless devices and sensors capable of sending and receiving data may soon be able to also harvest the power they need, right from the air, thanks to the radio waves that already emanate from cellphone and TV towers.

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New wireless devices need no power supply, can harvest energy from TV towers

New wireless devices need no power supply, can harvest energy from TV towers

 

What do you think? Any others we missed? Let us know in the comments below!