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Consumer market

So far, the market for energy harvesting in consumer goods has been largely confined to solar cells on calculators, wristwatches and the like and dynamos on bicycles. That will now change radically thanks to a huge push to overcome the problem of mobile phones and laptops losing power. This is being aggravated by the trend towards more functionality such as incorporating cameras, video and quality sound and phones that emulate financial cards or project a video on the wall. Maybe all wristwatches, cameras, e-books, car keys and other mainstream mobile consumer electronics will adopt energy harvesting and certainly there is much work to create e-labels, e-packaging and electronic skin patches. Low cost energy harvesting has the potential to go way beyond the 60 billion conventional labels printed every year or the $430 billion conventional packaging industry. It can take a bite from the $3 trillion consumer goods industry as a whole. The very success of the button battery, with 30 billion sold yearly on some estimates, is leading to considerable expense and inconvenience in changing them and it is an environmental threat as well. There has to be a better way. Nevertheless, it is very challenging, so wait up to ten years for massive deployment of energy harvesting in disposable consumer goods.