Scientists in the United States and Canada announced last week that they have developed a unique device that can be strapped on the knee and exploit the mechanics of human walking to generate a usable supply of electricity.
It generates enough power to charge up 10 cell phones at once, the researchers report in the journal Science.
Now before you get all worked up about having to run around the house like an idiot to charge up your cell phone, consider that the knee brace-like device collects energy lost when a person brakes the knee after swinging the leg forward to take a step. It's similar to the way regenerative braking charges a battery in hybrid cars, collecting kinetic energy that normally dissipates as heat when the car slows down.
This technology will be of immediate use to backpackers and outdoorsy types; we desk jockeys will have to wait until there is some sort of glove attachment.