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This T-shirt can charge your smartphone?

by Victor Ng
lithium ion fiber

Have you ever wondered if at some point in the future, our clothes could be used to charge our smartphones? Yeah, me neither. It’s a good thing scientists and engineers exist to turn absurd ideas like this into a reality. 

A group of scientists from Fudan University, Shanghai have developed a type of fiber that can apparently charge the batteries in your smartphone; these fibers are made of lithium-ion batteries – yes, you read that right. 

fabric chargeThe group formulated a process that would allow them to create fiber batteries that can span meters long, which hold up to 85.69 watt-hours of electricity per kilogram – which is a way higher capacity than what a 5,000mAh smartphone battery can hold. 

The scientists even showed off a prototype of a piece of clothing made using these fibers, and how it was charging an iPhone that was hanging off the demonstrator’s jean pocket. The image confirms that the fibers make use of the iPhone’s wireless charging capability to power the device. 

fabric chargeBecause these fibers are woven into items of clothing, they are flexible and can still function after being folded, washed, and pierced.  

The caveats are that there’s no information on how these fibers are recharged, and how devices fair in terms of thermals when being charged so close to the body. This is still a cool piece of tech, and we could perhaps see charging pouches and bags made of these fibers.  

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