Vɪᴍ: Customizable, Decomposable Electrical Energy Storage
Katherine W. Song and Eric Paulos
Providing electrical power is essential for nearly all interactive technologies, yet it often remains an afterthought. Some designs handwave power altogether as an "exercise for later." Others hastily string together batteries to meet the system's electrical requirements, enclosing them in whatever box fits. Vɪᴍ is a new approach -- it elevates power as a first-class design element; it frees power from being a series of discrete elements, instead catering to exact requirements; it enables power to take on new, flexible forms; it is fabricated using low-cost, accessible materials and technologies; finally, it advances sustainability by being rechargeable, non-toxic, edible, and compostable. Vɪᴍs are decomposable battery alternatives that rapidly charge and can power small applications for hours. We present Vɪᴍs, detail their characteristics, offer design guidelines for their fabrication, and explore their use in applications spanning prototyping, fashion, and food, including novel systems that are entirely decomposable and edible.