Shoe generates power to recharge phone as you walk
Nirapad News : Most of us will have been caught out when our smartphone runs out of battery at the worst moment.
But soon, taking a walk could solve this problem thanks to the development of an insole that converts steps into electricity.
The SolePower Ensoles claim to provide two-and-a-half hours of phone charge from a one-hour walk – and they could soon be sold in shops.
They connect to a power pack fitted outside the show, and collects kinetic energy using a mechanism that converts linear motion – generated while walking – into rotational motion, which is capable of spinning a generator.
Davit Davitian, head of business development for SolePower, explained: ‘Our EnSoles have an embedded mechanical system inside of them, which is what generates the electricity.
‘During the heel strike the kinetic energy of the foot is transferred into the mechanical system, which uses it to spin a micro-generator.’
This generator allows power to be built up in an external battery pack connected by a cable, called a PowerPac, tied onto the laces so it sits on top of a shoe.
It contains a USB port, allowing a variety of items to charge off it, including smartphones.
Mr Davitian said: ‘The PowerPac is attached to the shoelaces, as you walk you are charging the PowerPac.
‘When you wish to charge your phone, you simply detach the PowerPac from your shoelaces and plug into the available USB port.’
The SolePower company is a spin-out from Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania, which received $60,000 (£38,591) of money from a 2013 Kickstarter campaign.
While the insole is still in the design phase, the company intends on launching it ‘as soon as possible’
It is not the first time designers have attempted to harness power produced by walking in order to charge devices.
In 2013, mechanical engineering students from Rice University in Houston, Texas, created a prototype shoe capable of charging a mobile phone.
Their PediPower shoes featured a shoe-mounted generator instead of an insole, which they designed to charge medical equipment in remote areas of the world.
The prototypes delivered an average of 400 milliwatts, which is enough to charge a battery through what looked like a metal heel, attached to the back of the shoe.