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'Power Pocket' Can Charge Smartphones Using Your Body Height

Power Shorts can charge a phone's battery by harvesting energy from the human body using kinetic and thermoelectric technology. These wearable phone chargers have been designed by mobile phone company Vodafone with help from the University of Southampton.

It works by using technology called thermocouples, pairs of thermoelectric material designed to be small and flexible enough to stitch onto clothing. A number of them are printed and then connected together to create the "pocket."

Stephen Beeby, professor of electronic systems at the University of Southampton, said in a statement, “One side of that is cold and the other is hot, and when you get a flow of heat through it you can create a voltage and a current. Voltage and current together equals electrical power.”

The technology uses the heat your body provides on the inside layer of the clothing or sleeping bag and creates power based on the difference between that and the outer layer. So eight hours in a sleeping bag at body temperature will provide enough battery life for about eight hours.

The devices are available at the Isle of Wight Festival, from June 13 to 16, in England. They will also be appearing at other Vodafone-sponsored festivals.

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