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Old 09-19-2007, 02:40 AM   #1
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Spies can run small devices on body heat. What about eBooks?

We have long been able to generate electrical energy from differences in temperature. By using a charge pump Dr Peter Spies of Fraunhofer Institute is able to wirelessly monitor a patient's temperature. The story is here. Will eBooks be next?
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Old 09-19-2007, 07:56 AM   #2
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I hope so! But ABC may have overstated the possibilities. I saw this article last month that gives some info which seems a bit more down to earth...
http://www.computerworld.com/action/...icleId=9033303
Quote:
the technology is not currently a viable option to power mobile devices, although it does have some battery charging capabilities.

"The problem is the human body is not sufficient to power mobile phones at present," said Spies. "Perhaps in the future this might be a feasible vision."
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Old 09-19-2007, 08:47 AM   #3
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A reader with a stirling engine?
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Old 09-19-2007, 09:37 AM   #4
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Using eInk screens opens new low-power possibilities. Power is only needed to turn the page (refresh the screen) while reading, so just a little power can be stolen from here and there.

I suppose if one were to construct a reader with multiple screens hinged at the spine, it would be theoretically possible to harness the mechanical action of the turning of the page to power the eInk's refresh of content.

Upon further reflection, it occurs to me that a hand crank, or lever a la the OLPC might power the page refresh. The simple action of a button press might be enough to change the page.

I often sit in a rocking chair to read. I am sure I generate enough mechanical motion to power my reader.

Gum-chewing is another possibility. A synthetic gum with piezo-electric properties might be just the ticket.

By equipping the reader with a small tubular generator consisting of a magnet suspended inside a coil, one could simply shake the reader to turn the page.

One could possibly adapt the medical spirometer that measures the strength of exhalation such that one could simply blow into a tube to turn the page.

In certain climates the free availability of mosquitoes as bio-fuel could be harnessed by constructing a trap chamber with a come-hither glowing LED. Once the mosquito flies into the trap, she is incinerated and the power is stored for future screen refreshes.

Calculators commonly run on room light shining on photovoltaic cells. Such a cell array on the inside of my Sony Reader cover could trickle-charge the battery in the Reader. Everyone uses light to read, don't they? That would really one-up the back-lit screen fans.

A young friend of mine has a mouse that loves to run inside his exercise wheel. Though the "hamster generator" has long been the subject of humor, maybe now is the time to contact the patent office. Venture capital anyone?
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Old 09-19-2007, 10:16 AM   #5
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A very comprehensive list there, mogui, about the only thing you left out is little yappy dog power -- we have a bark-oleptic papillon that could power a small city if we could only harness it properly -- you don't know the power of the Bark Side.
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Old 09-19-2007, 12:03 PM   #6
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The force of patience be with you NatCh!


Hey moguy, how about a keyboard generator.
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Old 09-19-2007, 12:05 PM   #7
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A friend was being annoyed every night by a very barkish canine in the neighboring yard. He devised a dogvoice operated relay that turned on an ultrasonic yelp at about 120 db. He mounted it close to his fence line. The dog developed a near-reverent silence very quickly. I sympathize on both sides of the issue.

Gary Larson once did a cartoon of a man wearing an electronic box on a strap around his neck that was marked "Dog Language Translator". There were many dogs in the picture with speech bubbles over their heads. Each dog was saying, "Hey! Hey! Hey!"
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Old 09-19-2007, 12:08 PM   #8
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Beware Barking Butterflies!

My imagination has failed me. What is a keyboard generator? You press the keys and not only do you generate character output, but you get a little power too?

How about a reader that runs on charisma?
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Old 09-19-2007, 12:25 PM   #9
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A few years ago, I saw a dog-powered butter churn that was actually used years back in northern PA. It was basically a treadmill, but for a dog to generate the mechanical motion and churn the butter. I kid you not!

I'd have to imagine that a solar powered reader would make the most sense. I haven't kept up with current calculators, but have the solar powered ones caught on, or have they gone the way of the dinosaurs? If they don't work for calculators, I don't see them popular for e-readers.
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Old 09-19-2007, 12:40 PM   #10
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Funny... I just hopped over to TeleRead Blog and found this!
http://www.teleread.org/blog/?p=7123

David points to this article... http://www.olpcnews.com/content/eboo..._sunshine.html
(the TeleRead link seems to be a bit off)
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Old 09-19-2007, 04:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mogui View Post
Beware Barking Butterflies!

My imagination has failed me. What is a keyboard generator? You press the keys and not only do you generate character output, but you get a little power too?

How about a reader that runs on charisma?
Xactly!

Your reader must be running full tilt!

@Bob
I was just thinking of the OLPC's crank and the ones on LED flashlight.
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Old 09-19-2007, 04:22 PM   #12
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I think the solar power idea makes the most sense, as people need light to read, but I'm very intrigued by the yap-triggered ultrasonic squeaker. Where can I get one???
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Old 09-19-2007, 04:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mogui View Post
A friend was being annoyed every night by a very barkish canine in the neighboring yard. He devised a dogvoice operated relay that turned on an ultrasonic yelp at about 120 db. He mounted it close to his fence line. The dog developed a near-reverent silence very quickly. I sympathize on both sides of the issue.
Hey mogui, can I get the plans for that ultrasonic yelper?
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Old 09-19-2007, 11:21 PM   #14
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A few years ago, I saw a dog-powered butter churn that was actually used years back in northern PA. It was basically a treadmill, but for a dog to generate the mechanical motion and churn the butter. I kid you not!

I'd have to imagine that a solar powered reader would make the most sense. I haven't kept up with current calculators, but have the solar powered ones caught on, or have they gone the way of the dinosaurs? If they don't work for calculators, I don't see them popular for e-readers.
I once had a small white dog that could do a standing jump from the floor onto the kitchen table. I found out why she did this when I came home unexpectedly. She liked to lick the butter dish!

I see solar calculators all the time. One could devise an add-on charger to plug into the charger jack on the reader.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nekokami View Post
I think the solar power idea makes the most sense, as people need light to read, but I'm very intrigued by the yap-triggered ultrasonic squeaker. Where can I get one???
Quote:
Originally Posted by slayda View Post
Hey mogui, can I get the plans for that ultrasonic yelper?
If I were to build one, which I won't because I have no tools here, I would start with a 555 timer for the ultrasonic generator. There is a good circuit here. It uses a piezo buzzer at 82 db. I would try that first, just using it manually close to where the dog is. If it startles him into silence, fine. If not, you can run the output through a mono amp, which is available cheaply as a kit. Select your tweeters by specification, as they need to be heavy duty.

BTW I like this site for circuits.

The basic problem with the switch is to select one that has a momentary action. Most designs are of the clap-on clap-off variety. here is one that can be adapted easily, I think. It is tunable for frequency. In fact this circuit could do the whole job if you fiddle with the frequency of the final stage.

Let us know if you build one.
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Old 09-20-2007, 12:08 AM   #15
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We have long been able to generate electrical energy from differences in temperature. By using a charge pump Dr Peter Spies of Fraunhofer Institute is able to wirelessly monitor a patient's temperature. The story is here. Will eBooks be next?
Wind power maybe?
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