Electricity is something that is delivered to our homes via an extremely complex chain of events and it is fed to us through the mundane power plugs in our walls. It is carefree serving us as much as we desire, whenever we want at the cost of a mere few dollars a month. The ramifications of what these power plugs cause to our environment are hidden far away from us, resulting in an energy-consumption habit which is careless and inefficient. If we were living next door to a power plant and a coalmine we would better understand the chain of events taking place and be more concerned about our consumption.


I strongly believe that blame, punishment and guilt are the wrong approaches towards educating society and will never cause the paradigm shift that is needed.  In my opinion the core problem is the fact that we cannot relate; People do not share a personal bond with electricity.


The metallic Teddy Bear allows us to create a personal bond with electricity by simply supplying us with energy in return for our body heat. Keeping the Thermocouple Teddy bear warm at night results in the production and storage of electrical energy. During the day the energy that your warmth has created is free to be used or shared in whichever way you want.

I describe the experience to be similar as sitting on a leather couch. At first it is slightly uncomfortable as you come in contact with the cold leather. Slowly it warms up and becomes cozy and snug. When asked to move over so that another person can take my spot I tend to feel as if I’m giving away my personal warmth. On wintery nights I value this very much and think twice before I decide if I’m going to move or not.


During sleep we generate around 80W of Heat energy. Currently we can’t tap all that energy; we are looking at yields of 3%. But during a whole night that can build up to become quite a significant amount of Watt Hours. This technology is based on the Seedback effect whereby a current is created between two plates at different temperatures. Normally large temperature differences are necessary but due to advances in nanotechnology this has been reduced to minimal temperature differences of just a fraction of a degree, making it suitable for body temperatures. The technology has already been applied by Seiko in a watch that runs on the temperature of your wrist. Another company (I don’t have the name) has created hearing aids that run on the heat that escapes from your ear canal.

So is this technology irrelevant for proper household use? Advancements on this technology are being made at a rapid pace, but there are many different technologies being developed simultaneously such as: Piezoelectric devices (Mechanical Strain), Inertia Energy Scavenging (Momentum) Electromagnetic Generator (focused towards our large muscle groups) and Electrostrictive Polymers (Material Stretching) which can extract energy from our body. In conjunction with energy production there are also developments being made in reducing the amount of energy needed for our products.

Products are less energy hungry than in the past. This is due to the advances being made in the industry of portable products. We don’t want to carry around increasingly larger and heavier batteries to meet the requirements of our portable devices. This has resulted in the development of circuitry that runs on micro-voltages so that the energy need can be met without enhancing battery capacity. These technologies are also trickling down to our household electrical products and the industry.


The energy always has to come from somewhere, and the answer is that we would simply need to eat more. But it must be noted that our bodies are drastically more efficient in transforming our food into bodily energy than we are in changing fossil fuels into electricity.