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The day of charging cellphones with finger swipes and powering Bluetooth headsets simply by walking is now much closer.

Michigan State University engineering researchers have created a new way to harvest energy from human motion, using a film-like that actually can be folded to create more power. With the low-cost device, known as a nanogenerator, the scientists successfully operated an LCD , a bank of 20 LED lights and a flexible keyboard, all with a simple touching or pressing motion and without the aid of a battery (click the respective links to see a short video of each demonstration).

The groundbreaking findings, published in the journal Nano Energy, suggest "we're on the path toward wearable devices powered by human motion," said Nelson Sepulveda, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and lead investigator of the project.

"What I foresee, relatively soon, is the capability of not having to charge your cell phone for an entire week, for example, because that energy will be produced by your movement," said Sepulveda, whose research is funded by the National Science Foundation.

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