The rapid evolution of technology means that the human race is becoming more dependent on it. Men and machine together as one are breaking new barriers everyday and it is not too hard to imagine a timeline where humans are integrated with technology at a molecular level. One such experiment aims for such human-technology integration. Led by Dutchman Manuel Beltran, the experiment aims to use human energy to mine digital currencies. With the help of a specially designed bodysuit, the experiment of mining cryptocurrencies is being conducted by the Netherlands based Institute of Human Obsolescence.
Beltran, who is also the founder of the institute, aims to break the popular conception that technology cannot be sustained by our current supply of resources. He believes that the human body and humans and their ubiquity is the answer to the shortage of resources, with him and their team conducting research and experiments in order to use the energy of the human body to power technological innovations. The current experiment is based on using the human body as the power source for mining cryptocurrency. In total, the experiments were conducted for over 212 hours, with 37 people being part of the project.
With the help of the custom designed suit, the team were able to generate a total of 127.2 Watts of power which was used to mine more than 16,500 cryptocurrencies which included Dash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Startcoin and Vertcoin among other cryptocurrencies. The research concluded that on an average, the energy generated from a single human at rest is around 100 watts, with more than 80% of it going to waste.
The energy is generated in the form of excess heat, and the suit designed by the team uses special thermoelectric generators which use this generated heat to produce electricity, which in turn powers the components needed to mine digital currencies.
“A single human body at rest radiates 100 watts of excess heat — We created a body-suit that uses thermoelectric generators to harvest the temperature differential between the human body and ambient and converts it into usable electricity,”
The institute believes that human labour has a great future ahead with the ability to use the human body as an source of energy. They explained that in order to mine cryptocurrencies, one just had to wear the suit and lie down, with the heavy lifting done by the equipment embedded in the suit.
The institute specifically avoided mining Bitcoin due to the extreme difficulty which entails the process. Instead, they chose to use other coins which would generate a better return of investment on the energy being used.
This experiment is an interesting one, as its observations would pave the way to generate revenues even when the body is at rest.