To industrial designer Naomi Kizhner, the future of energy could very well be driven by blinks, blood flow, and synaptic pulses from the brain.

For a final project at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Academic College, Kizhner created a theoretical line of wearable devices that would harvest kinetic energy from the body.

She built the mock-ups using a 3-D printer, then stuck them onto a human being for a short film about the project.

“I wanted the project to provoke a debate,” Kizhner says.

“Technically, there are developments today that can make these devices real, but theoretically speaking, I don’t know if we’re willing to sacrifice our bodies this way to make energy. It kind of dehumanizes us--it uses the body as a vessel.”

Case in point would be Kizhner’s blood flow device. In the film, she shows an actress desperately huffing a cigarette to make her heart beat faster, thus powering the mini hydraulic turbine in her arm, and storing energy.

It’s not clear where that stored energy goes, exactly, but it looks like it feeds into a ubiquitous grid, or maybe an Internet of all things, everywhere.

2014-08-12

Co.Exist

These Futuristic Wearable Devices Harvest Energy From Your Blinks And Blood Flow

They're not real. Yet.

For many climate scientists, the future of energy lies in nuclear. But to industrial designer Naomi Kizhner, it could very well be driven by blinks, blood flow, and synaptic pulses from the brain.

For a final project at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Academic College, Kizhner created a theoretical line of wearable devices that would harvest kinetic energy from the body. She built the mock-ups using a 3-D printer, then stuck them onto a human being for a short film about the project.

"I wanted the project to provoke a debate," Kizhner says. "Technically, there are developments today that can make these devices real, but theoretically speaking, I don’t know if we’re willing to sacrifice our bodies this way to make energy. It kind of dehumanizes us—it uses the body as a vessel."

Case in point would be Kizhner’s blood-flow device. In the film, she shows an actress desperately huffing a cigarette to make her heart beat faster, thus powering the mini hydraulic turbine in her arm, and storing energy. It’s not clear where that stored energy goes, exactly, but it looks like it feeds into a ubiquitous grid, or maybe an Internet of all things, everywhere.

Yet, even for a speculative method of harvesting energy, Kizhner did put quite a bit of thought into what execution might require. Each device has gold filaments, for example, because gold makes one of the best conductors. Meanwhile, the hydraulic turbine she describes works like a "two-way syringe."

Other devices Kizhner envisioned didn’t quite make the cut. She considered an energy harvester for sneezes, as well as a piece that would pick up on friction generated between the thighs while walking.

But to Kizhner’s earlier point, encouraging chafing also seems like something that actively works against humanity’s best interests.

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1 Comments

  • James Ayers

    Cybernetics, either as Jewellery or as Implants below the skin has been a major part of science fiction for generations. Just about every game that comes out now has some form of body modification that is based around augmentation. Be it to enhance strength, bone structure, even the ability for paraplegics to reanimate damaged parts of their body. I have no problem with Augmenting my body to produce 'power' to make sure if my heart ever stopped a second system could kick in to keep me alive until medical services were able to react to an internet sent alarm, using wifi, and save my life. Imagine being capable of 'plugging your synaptic system into a virtual internet, who would need a stupid plastic and metal computer, when you would have the best, most adaptable cpu at your beck and call?. I found the smoking to make your heart beat faster just an attempt at dramatising artistic license when you could have shown someone walking, rather than a gormless model draped over a wall idiotic.