Skip to main content

The ultimate eco-friendly computer - produce energy by typing

Computers are getting smaller and smaller and are using less and less power. It does make sense nowadays to look for ways to either decrease power consumption or look for alternative ways to produce power.

Back in 1996, Thad Starner from IBM wrote an interesting piece of article on Human-Powered wearable computing and explored quite a few ways how the human body could be used as a source of energy for computers.

We're not yet reaching 'Matrix' stage where humans WERE actually living batteries but one of the ideas which could be explored would be the use of keyboards as a convenient way of generating power to generate electricity.

The idea that I put forward is a keyboard with an integrated computer that is powered not only by keystrokes but also by mouse motion and light coming from the monitor screen. Back in 1996, a computer with a power consumption of 0.5w was feasible.

Current technology does allow such metrics to be reached while improving dramatically on general performance.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.