Scientists at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology have made a discovery that could lead to laptops powered by typing.

The researchers succeeded is showing that piezoelectric thin films have the capacity to turn mechanical pressure into a measurable amount of electricity.

It has been known since the 1880s that certain crystals are able to to convert mechanical energy into electric power. These piezoelectric materials have found a variety of uses from sonar to electric cigarette lighters.

Lead co-author of the research, Dr. Madhu Bhaskaran, said that "The power of piezoelectrics could be integrated into running shoes to charge mobile phones, enable laptops to be powered through typing or even used to convert blood pressure into a power source for pacemakers – essentially creating an everlasting battery."