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Micro tracking device charged by kinetic energy from movement

Image credit: Markus Spiske / unsplash.com

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Darko Savic
Darko Savic Sep 24, 2020
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Track your pets, children, cars without having to worry about the tracker's battery life.

Imagine a pet collar with a built-in GPS device and a mobile sim card. The device would be charged via a micro kinetic charger powered by your pet's movement. Such kinetic chargers are used in some watches.

The kinetic charger would be able to very slowly but surely charge the device. Every now and then the battery would fill up sufficiently to power up the device and send off the pet's GPS location then go back into hibernation. If the pet was lost the owner would simply wait for the location message and quickly go there.

In kidnapping prone areas such devices could be built into your children's shoes/clothing. Likewise for cars, motorbikes, and so on.
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Two Problems both solvable.

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Aaron Barry
Aaron Barry Mar 29, 2021
The key problem being solved is the kinetic charging of the device, so you can always keep track of the object without the device losing power.

The other problem here is the connectivity of the device itself. With the Internet of Things and emerging use of e-sims instead of physical sims, this also becomes possible. In addition, the mobile networks use of roaming agreements means you could take your pets and children abroad and track them via an app at all times so you never lose them.

High monetisation idea - who doesn’t want to track their loved one’s while at home or abroad? The data costs for such a product should be very low as the amount of data being used will be minimal, which could create a cost-effective product in the retail space.
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The magnetoelastic effect could soon make it happen

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J
Juranium Oct 25, 2021
Since the generation of electricity seems to be the biggest problem here, I decided to search for materials that could make this happen.
The most interesting thing I found was published in Nature just a month ago. Scientists developed an elastic waterproof material that can create electricity based on the magnetoelastic effect. The mentioned effect is described as "the variation of the magnetic properties of a material under mechanical stress". Basically, by even the slightest movement of the elastic band such as the pulse, small magnets in the silicone matrix change their mutual distance and therefore, result in a change in the magnetic field. These changes are turned into electricity.
I guess people will soon start implementing these into wearable gadgets such as fitness bands, smartwatches, and smart rings. I don't see why it couldn't work in the case of GPS trackers, too. :)

[1]https://www.nature.com/articles/s41563-021-01093-1

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Darko Savic
Darko Savica month ago
great find 👌
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General comments

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J
Juraniuma year ago
I dream about the smart device not needing to be charged in a traditional way. But, as mentioned in the article (https://www.wareable.com/wearable-tech/kinetic-powered-wearables-2034), technology is still not there. The startups are not managing to collect money due to the inability to describe and prove the working power-generating method of an on-wrist gadget. The closest they came is an example of shirts made of smart two-layered materials that create static electricity with friction and power LEDs. In the case of tracking devices, I read it also requires much more energy than it can be generated by kinetics at the moment. But a step forward would be a prolonged life of ordinary devices with kinetic charging add-on.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savica year ago
This is how the old Seiko kinetic powered watch worked https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/295649.pdf. I can even think of a better way to do this. I'm sure someone has done it but can't seem to find it at the moment. Imagine a looped plastic tube, coil spun around it, then a magnetic ball would freely move around it as the person moves. That would create a small charge which can be fed into a capacitor until it builds up enough to be pushed into a battery. Depending on the battery size anything could be powered. It would just take a lot of time for enough power to build up. But with the GPS tracker, we only need one transmission to find whatever we are tracking.
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