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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Fit Tech Innovation: Create your own energy

A breakthrough in technology means wearable devices and other health and fitness products could soon be self-powered. Steph Eaves talks to Dr Ishara Dharmasena to find out how this could impact health and fitness

Published in Fit Tech 2020 issue 2
Research into TENGs at the universities of Loughborough and Surrey in the UK could revolutionise the market for wearables / Shutterstock
Research into TENGs at the universities of Loughborough and Surrey in the UK could revolutionise the market for wearables / Shutterstock
With TENGs, health and fitness products can be made more sustainable, durable, low cost, wearable and autonomous

Small, flexible generators that convert movement into electricity could soon be the future of free and unlimited energy, thanks to a breakthrough in energy harvesting technology.

Scientists from Loughborough University and the University of Surrey in the UK have created a unique device based on triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs), which generate electricity from motion – in much the same way static electricity is produced.

Until now, using TENGs has been incompatible with many day-to-day electronic devices due to their inability to produce a constant current.

But a team of researchers, led by Dr Ishara Dharmasena of Loughborough’s School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, in collaboration with the Advanced Technology Institute of the University of Surrey, has found a way to produce a direct current (DC) from a unique TENG design, creating a steady flow of electricity and opening up the potential for real-world applications.

We spoke to Dr Dharmasena, who explained this breakthrough.

How long have you been conducting research into this technology?
I’ve been working on this since the beginning of my PhD project, in early 2016.

What have the challenges been in making TENGs compatible with everyday electronic devices?
The main drawback of TENG, to date, has been discontinuous and unpredictable outputs. Because of this issue, we can’t use TENGs to directly power electronic devices – you need additional circuits to manage the current, and, sometimes batteries to store electricity. This meant the effectiveness and applicability of the technology in real life situations was drastically reduced.

What was the breakthrough?
Instead of using a single TENG device to generate a discontinuous current signal, in this new design, we’re using a collection of TENG units to directly produce a DC current signal, which is a current output similar to a regular battery.

This way, we can get rid of additional electronic circuits, batteries, etc, and directly use TENG devices to power practical applications.

How can this technology be used in fitness, sports and health products?
This technology could be very useful in next generation wearable and implantable electronics, which measure fitness and healthcare information. For example, the power generation capability of these devices could be useful in powering existing electronics, such as smart watches, motion sensors, activity monitoring units, heart pulse sensors, physiological sensors and, potentially, mobile devices.

Another special feature of TENG is that it can act as a self-powered sensor; in other words, a sensor that can generate its own power to provide information like movement, position, etc. This could be massively useful for monitoring things like our physical activity, speed and pulse.

TENGs are being extensively researched for their compatibility with emerging technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G-related applications, which will also provide unparalleled advantages to sports and healthcare products.

In what other ways could it improve and evolve these products?
TENGs can be constructed using flexible and stretchable polymers (plastics), which are similar to our clothing. They can also act as a secondary skin.

Since TENGs can be constructed using low-cost, waste plastics and simple manufacturing techniques, they are cheap and non-toxic. Whereas conventional battery-related power supplies are rigid, bulky, expensive and contain toxic materials.

With TENGs, health and fitness products can be made more sustainable, durable, low-cost, wearable and autonomous.

How will TENGs impact the Fit Tech market?
In future, technologies that provide self-powered operation of fitness and health-related applications will enable a number of unique benefits.
For instance, they will enable technologies such as remote health detection and monitoring. Without external intervention, the self-powered systems will be able to continuously monitor the health or exercise related parameters of a person and transmit the relevant data to doctors, trainers, etc.

Furthermore, they would potentially be able to power the sensors and medical devices implanted in our bodies, enabling their long-term operation, without needing to be recharged or replaced.

How soon will they be used by consumers?
The technology is still in its early stages. However, my vision is to produce a textile-based working prototype of a wearable health monitoring system within the next three years.

If things go according to the current plan, consumers will be able to benefit from this technology in the next three to five years.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Dharmasena foresees a time when wearables and implants run on self-generated power
Dharmasena foresees a time when wearables and implants run on self-generated power
Wearables could be self powered by non-toxic TENGs / Shutterstock
Wearables could be self powered by non-toxic TENGs / Shutterstock
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/805919_902043.jpg
A recent breakthrough means self-powered devices could soon be a reality. Dr Ishara Dharmasena what this means for fitness
Dr Ishara Dharmasena, triboelectric nanogenerators, TENGS, Loughborough University, University of Surrey,fitness wearables
People
HCM people

Luca Maggiora

Co-founder, House of Wisdom
People think making a change is easy and fast, but that isn’t true. It’s hard and it takes time
People
The future of our industry is as a ‘national health service’ – we can’t dance around these conversations – if we’re serious about being closer to health agencies, that needs change and commitment
People
People in Club V trust me and I want to do the best for them and help them progress
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Opinion: Why fitness clubs and facilities need to evolve in a COVID-conscious world
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features

Fit Tech Innovation: Create your own energy

A breakthrough in technology means wearable devices and other health and fitness products could soon be self-powered. Steph Eaves talks to Dr Ishara Dharmasena to find out how this could impact health and fitness

Published in Fit Tech 2020 issue 2
Research into TENGs at the universities of Loughborough and Surrey in the UK could revolutionise the market for wearables / Shutterstock
Research into TENGs at the universities of Loughborough and Surrey in the UK could revolutionise the market for wearables / Shutterstock
With TENGs, health and fitness products can be made more sustainable, durable, low cost, wearable and autonomous

Small, flexible generators that convert movement into electricity could soon be the future of free and unlimited energy, thanks to a breakthrough in energy harvesting technology.

Scientists from Loughborough University and the University of Surrey in the UK have created a unique device based on triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs), which generate electricity from motion – in much the same way static electricity is produced.

Until now, using TENGs has been incompatible with many day-to-day electronic devices due to their inability to produce a constant current.

But a team of researchers, led by Dr Ishara Dharmasena of Loughborough’s School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, in collaboration with the Advanced Technology Institute of the University of Surrey, has found a way to produce a direct current (DC) from a unique TENG design, creating a steady flow of electricity and opening up the potential for real-world applications.

We spoke to Dr Dharmasena, who explained this breakthrough.

How long have you been conducting research into this technology?
I’ve been working on this since the beginning of my PhD project, in early 2016.

What have the challenges been in making TENGs compatible with everyday electronic devices?
The main drawback of TENG, to date, has been discontinuous and unpredictable outputs. Because of this issue, we can’t use TENGs to directly power electronic devices – you need additional circuits to manage the current, and, sometimes batteries to store electricity. This meant the effectiveness and applicability of the technology in real life situations was drastically reduced.

What was the breakthrough?
Instead of using a single TENG device to generate a discontinuous current signal, in this new design, we’re using a collection of TENG units to directly produce a DC current signal, which is a current output similar to a regular battery.

This way, we can get rid of additional electronic circuits, batteries, etc, and directly use TENG devices to power practical applications.

How can this technology be used in fitness, sports and health products?
This technology could be very useful in next generation wearable and implantable electronics, which measure fitness and healthcare information. For example, the power generation capability of these devices could be useful in powering existing electronics, such as smart watches, motion sensors, activity monitoring units, heart pulse sensors, physiological sensors and, potentially, mobile devices.

Another special feature of TENG is that it can act as a self-powered sensor; in other words, a sensor that can generate its own power to provide information like movement, position, etc. This could be massively useful for monitoring things like our physical activity, speed and pulse.

TENGs are being extensively researched for their compatibility with emerging technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G-related applications, which will also provide unparalleled advantages to sports and healthcare products.

In what other ways could it improve and evolve these products?
TENGs can be constructed using flexible and stretchable polymers (plastics), which are similar to our clothing. They can also act as a secondary skin.

Since TENGs can be constructed using low-cost, waste plastics and simple manufacturing techniques, they are cheap and non-toxic. Whereas conventional battery-related power supplies are rigid, bulky, expensive and contain toxic materials.

With TENGs, health and fitness products can be made more sustainable, durable, low-cost, wearable and autonomous.

How will TENGs impact the Fit Tech market?
In future, technologies that provide self-powered operation of fitness and health-related applications will enable a number of unique benefits.
For instance, they will enable technologies such as remote health detection and monitoring. Without external intervention, the self-powered systems will be able to continuously monitor the health or exercise related parameters of a person and transmit the relevant data to doctors, trainers, etc.

Furthermore, they would potentially be able to power the sensors and medical devices implanted in our bodies, enabling their long-term operation, without needing to be recharged or replaced.

How soon will they be used by consumers?
The technology is still in its early stages. However, my vision is to produce a textile-based working prototype of a wearable health monitoring system within the next three years.

If things go according to the current plan, consumers will be able to benefit from this technology in the next three to five years.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Dharmasena foresees a time when wearables and implants run on self-generated power
Dharmasena foresees a time when wearables and implants run on self-generated power
Wearables could be self powered by non-toxic TENGs / Shutterstock
Wearables could be self powered by non-toxic TENGs / Shutterstock
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/805919_902043.jpg
A recent breakthrough means self-powered devices could soon be a reality. Dr Ishara Dharmasena what this means for fitness
Dr Ishara Dharmasena, triboelectric nanogenerators, TENGS, Loughborough University, University of Surrey,fitness wearables
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Opinion
promotion
Our world has changed since March and together, we are learning and adapting to how this sector can continue to thrive in this COVID conscious world.
Opinion: Why fitness clubs and facilities need to evolve in a COVID-conscious world
Opinion
promotion
In a post-Covid world, member experience is more important than ever before. Your customers’ expectations have been heightened as the coronavirus continues to dominate our everyday lives.
Opinion: Why member experience is more important now than ever before
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Cryotherapy specialists, L&R Kältetechnik, launch new artofcryo.com division
L&R Kältetechnik has launched a new division, named artofcryo.com, after 30 years’ experience with -110 °C electrical solutions.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Power Plate kicks off campaign to support fitness industry deliver health and wellness in one solution
Power Plate, the global leader in whole-body vibration training equipment, is encouraging its community to stay fighting fit this winter with a campaign intended to encourage comfort and confidence, as well as boosting health and wellness.
Video Gallery
A new Zone is here
MyZone Group Ltd
A new zone is here for your club, for your members and for you. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Fisikal Limited
Fisikal helps fitness professionals, operators and education organisations improve efficiencies and service through its online ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Safe Space Lockers
Safe Space have over 25 years of experience in the UK leisure and fitness industry, ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Exercise equipment
Technogym: Exercise equipment
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Design consultants
Zynk Design Consultants: Design consultants
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Fitness Software
FunXtion International BV: Fitness Software
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Property & Tenders
11 - 25 Union St, London SE1 1SD
Bankside Open Spaces Trust
Property & Tenders
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
17-23 Oct 2020
Pinggu, Beijing, China
Diary dates
03-06 Nov 2020
Online,
Diary dates
12 Nov 2020
Virtual, United States
Diary dates
17 Nov 2020
Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-03 Dec 2020
Virtual,
Diary dates
08-09 Dec 2020
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
02-04 Feb 2021
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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