A group of students at the Aalborg University in Denmark won the ‘Future Textiles International Prize Competition 2011′ for their design of a fabric capable to charge any mobile device by just placing the device on that futuristic textile.
Called Powertex, industrial design students Hans Christian Thiesen, Mads Gydegaard, Morten Ydefeldt and Marius Koppang aim to find a solution to one of the biggest hassles of our days: flat batteries when on the go and zillions of different adapters for each device we own.
The solution: a textile that can be used as table cloth, in upholstery of furniture on public transport like busses, trains and planes. Envision you ride the buss and place your cell phone on the seat cover and give it a quick recharge while riding to your office.
What is the secret ingredient of Powertex? the charging is done wireless via induction. Inductive charging is actually a old technology, as far as I can remember seeing it first in electrical tooth brushes. A wire coil generates a magnetic field that is picked up by the receiving end and transformed back into electrical current.
Over the past few years various companies started to develop and commercialize inductive charging pads, a two dimensional variant of the original transforming the three dimensional coil into a two dimensional spiral shape.
Powertex is pushing again the limits and suggest to integrate the inductive power generation into fabrics, fabrics that are around us almost each minute of the days, integrating mobile device charging really seamlessly into our life habits.
Watch the short video below and listen to the complete story of the Powertex innovators:
A brilliant idea that needs now some heavy lifting on the technology side to transfer it from a concept idea to reality.
[via: Innovation in Textiles]