As the world turns more to technology than it ever has before, many scientists have speculated that robots and automated machines backed by artificial intelligence will continue to replace jobs done by humans. You see it happening now with self-checkout counters at grocery stores and even some fast food restaurants have added screens in their stores that you can order from, instead of having to go to the counter to order your food of choice. With that said, not many people have come up with reasonable solutions and alternatives to these jobs being replaced.
One startup in the Netherlands is primarily focusing on the one things that machines do not have, body heat. The Institute of Human Obsolescence (IoHO) was founded in 2015 and they present themselves as a group devoted to how individuals can capitalize on biological and data production through specific research projects. The project they are currently centering focus on is their bodysuit that harvests excess human body heat, which they then use to mine cryptocurrency.
Wait, what? Yes, you read that correctly. IoHO uses a bodysuit, that they’ve placed thermoelectric generators in, to store a human’s body heat in a rested state and then converts that heat into usable electricity.
37 individuals have been used in their project, and the process is fairly simple. A subject lies down on one of their beds for a few hours, in a rested state and the bodysuit harnesses their body heat and converts it into energy. They’ve tested these suits to mine for just over eight days, at 212 hours and have been able to mine 16,594 coins so far. In that time, the 37 subjects produced around 127,210 milliwatts of electricity.
Could this take over the traditional methods, since mining cryptocurrency uses so much electricity and can be quite expensive? Not quite.
From CryptoCompare’s calculation tool, you would only be able to mine 0.002487 of Ethereum in a single day using that 127 watts of energy produced by the bodysuits. While the idea of using excess body heat is forward-thinking and exciting, it seems like it would be far too much effort for not enough reward.
However, the group at IoHO may have just opened the door for new alternative energy methods of mining, as it becomes more expensive to keep up with the large mining nodes. Alternative energy, such as solar or wind, may be a viable solution for miners in places that have an abundant supply of those energy sources. The current cumulative power consumption is a huge problem and the operations worldwide consume more power than a number of African countries.
Rested body heat may not be enough to currently solve this issue but it might have kick-started the solution to a growing problem.