Scientists from the University of Central Florida were inspired by the self lacing shoes from the movie Back To The Future. They are developing a way for clothing to store energy to power nano technology without every needing to be plugged in.
Professor Jayan Thomas from UCF received a R&D 100 Award for his development of cables that can store energy like batteries. He then came up with the idea of using that similar technology to combine it with solar cells. He intends to later implement this technology to be used with high tech clothing just like in his favorite movie.
He and his team have been developing thin copper filaments that store energy. The filaments have both solar cells and energy storing layers. The were able to weave such ribbons into spools of yarn. This concept may be able to charge cell phones, connect health tracking devices and other tiny gadgets. This technology could prove to be very useful with electric cars, allowing charging and storing without relying on charging up at stations.
Thomas suggests that such an idea would be useful for military and police uniforms. Soldiers that are deployed in the Middle East are exposed in the sun for long hours, making it ideal to charge the solar cells. Lightweight solar technology will also reduce the need to carry around heavy batteries.