There is an article about a research in nanogenerators and transmitters used to make a self-powering implant which can transmit wireless signals to receivers over a distance. It is claimed that
A new generation of battery-free surveillance devices which can be implanted under the skin and transmit over huge distances via wireless have been developed by scientists.
And according to the researchers,
‘It is entirely possible to drive the devices by scavenging energy from sources in the environment such as gentle airflow, vibration, sonic wave, solar, chemical, and/or thermal energy,’
This researchers also claim that such technology is practical in many situations like monitoring patients in medical purposes. But concerns about privacy are raised as well (see the comments of the first article), especially whether this would be used as surveillance covert devices which remotely eavesdrop and monitors people, transmitting the signals to receivers far away, while being totally self-powered in the way described above and in the article.
The device would consist of a nanogenerator which makes electricity from vibration or motion, a capacitor which stores they energy and a Bluetooth-style transmitter to end the signal. According to Science Daily it would be able to pick up wireless signals at a distance of more than 30ft.
The original paper is here . It is worth noting that the author of the original research is involved in the invention of nanogenerator as well as more related researches. See papers like Nanogenerator-Based Self-Powered Sensors for Wearable and Implantable Electronics and A constant current triboelectric nanogenerator arising from electrostatic breakdown are also claiming the good and practical performances of nanogenerators and self-powering devices.
But contrary to their claims, no recorded practical uses of such devices in medical treatments or surveillance have been recorded. The question is, is it realistically possible to make such remote self-powered implanted transmitter for practical situations? Namely is the nanogenerator, which has been repeated advertised by research teams, really have the practical utility of powering the described type of implants, which is quite energy consuming (especially when the transmitter need to send signals over long distances) with respect to small devices (I assume the device should be small to be implanted in certain situations).