Footwear that produces power, by harvesting the kinetic energy of walking. Many have tried and produced little to show for it, until now. A breakthrough has created shoes that can produce high-energy simply from walking.
Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison came up with the technology which they're now trying to commercialise as InStep NanoPower. That tech could be used by you to charge your smartphone or by the military for use out on manoeuvres.
The shoe shown in the picture above was a concept made by the university and Vibram. It uses what's called "bubbler" technology which was developed to harness the most energy from the smallest area. This, essentially, uses two plates one of which has holes in to allow gas in, which bubbles up and bursts on the top plate. This gas movement generate power.
At the moment the prototype is able to produce 10 watts per square metre. But the creators claim it could be possible to hit 10 kW of power.
That should mean the shoes can be connected to a cable to power a mobile device like a smartphone. Imagine walking between events and turning up with a full smartphone battery, without paying a penny.
Check out the video below to see the bubbler tech powering an LED torch.
Here's hoping InStep NanoPower gets commercial partners so we can get our foot-fingers into a pair of these soon.