Boob-powered bras - an alternative energy source?
Now that alternative energy sources such as solar and geo-thermal power are on the public agenda, a technology writer investigates the potential for boob-powered gadgets. Slate.com writer Adrienne So was curious to know if female breast movement could generate enough power to play an iPod. After all if Triumph Japan (a well-known lingerie company) could produce a solar-powered bra, why not create one that harnesses the power of natural body movements?
The scientists that Ms So consulted agreed that such a bra is indeed a possibility, with one small problem - it can't be washed. It would also only work for well-endowed women.
LaJean Lawson, a exercise motion consultant for Nike and one of the experts Ms So spoke to, says that bigger breasts will generate more momentum and therefore more energy than small ones. According to Ms Lawson, a D-cup breast can move up to 35 inches up and down during exercise (suprisingly there have been no reports of D-cup women knocking themselves out yet). The bra would also have to be designed for comfort while allowing enough breast movement to generate power.
Unfortunately the idea fell over when Ms So asked Professor Zhong Lin Wang about using nanowire fabric for the bra. Nanowire fabric produces electricity when body motions cause the wires to rub together and create electrical charges. Although nanowire and bouncing boobs appear to be highly compatible, the fabric in its present state can't be washed without damaging its special properties.