Apparently Frank Schmidt and Matthias Heiden are. Their company, EnOcean, develops radio switches and sensors that require no batteries. They harvest energy from the environment.
The smallest changes in temperature, vibration, pressure, light or motion all produce energy that can be harvested and used to send a signal.
The principle of energy harvesting is not new (self winding watches have a history dating back hundreds of years), even the concept of using energy from the immediate environment to power wireless sensors has been done before (using outdoor solar panels on a sunny day). EnOcean’s radical breakthrough is to reduce the energy required to send a signal to an incredibly small amount. This change in energy requirements means that EnOcean sensors operate where other technologies cannot. A simple example is when our sensors are solar powered they can operate indoors, in a low light environment.
EnOcean just raised $13 million.