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Batteries not included

New sensor uses movement to power transmission of wireless signals

5:22pm, June 24, 2011

Imagine charging your iPod just by shouting into it, or powering a blood glucose monitor with your pulse. Such technologies aren’t far off: In the latest rendition of tiny, energy-scavenging devices, scientists have developed a prototype sensor that produces enough electrical charge when flexed mechanically to transmit a wireless signal several meters.

With further improvements, the new device might be part of an array of sensors that can monitor the strength of a bridge, for example, while powering itself with the vibrations of trucks rumbling overhead, says Zhong Lin W

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