We spend a lot of time looking at the latest green batteries for our gadgets, but what if we could eliminate batteries altogether? GreenPeak, a Netherlands-based startup, thinks we can. The company plans to use its newly-acquired $19 million in funding to bring wireless energy-harvesting chips to consumer electronics.
GreenPeak already shills its wireless chips, which gather energy from light, motion, and vibration, to industrial and commercial buildings. The chips can be used in sensor networks for security, temperature monitoring, and energy management. But up until now, GreenPeak hasn't had the funds to bring its chips to the masses.
Before it can break into the electronics market, GreenPeak will have to figure out how to lower the cost of energy harvesting. It makes sense for building owners to install a pricey GreenPeak chip in lieu of the thousands of batteries that would need to be used in a sensor system, but the same doesn't necessarily apply for a portable device that can survive on the same set of batteries for months.
GreenPeak certainly has some heavyweights on its side--Motorola Ventures and Robert Bosch Venture Capital are among the company's funders. And if the company ultimately succeeds in its goal of eliminating batteries in consumer electronics, we'll have a much easier time managing our ever-growing e-waste problem.