A research team from the University of Oulu in Finland has discovered that a specific type of crystalline mineral has the potential to harvest energy from multiple sources at the same time. Whereas currently to extract energy from heat, light or pressure requires materials specific to that form of energy, this highly versatile material has demonstrated the ability in experiments to provide energy from multiple source at room temperature. It is called KBNNO and comes from the Perovskite family of minerals.
Many forms of energy surrounds us every day and most of it is not used. The movements of the human body, ambient sunlight and the heat in a room are all energy sources that could potentially power wearable and portable gadgets, ranging from smart watches to biometric sensors.
Researchers are currently building a device to take advantage of this new energy-harvesting property, which could go to the market in the next year. One hope is that this new technology could offer a way beyond battery-powered devices and significantly contribute to the building of smart cities and connections to the Internet of Things.