Soon, you may be able to jog your way to a charged cell phone. Conceptualized by Tom Krupenking and Ashley Taylor, the Instep Nanopower fits snuggly in the sole of your sneaker, and with each step the device harvests the kinetic energy created. The collected energy from your moves could later be transferred to power your phone!
Inspired by a process called electro wetting, the pair created a device using the reverse of the process. Using a liquid metal called Gallinstan, their process harnesses the electrical current that is created when droplets of the metal are in motion. Thus, the faster you walk or run, the more the droplets move, and the more energy is created. The energy could be transferred easily to a phone with a Bluetooth via any Wi-Fi connection.
Krupenking and Taylor estimate that a runner can generate between 1 and 10 watts of power for a cell phone. Although not exactly an efficient source of power, the device is an improved step in converting mechanical energy to electrical energy – and a device for personal use is a step forward.
Kinetic energy has proven to be a viable power source, used in walkways, and even in the floors of two train stations in Japan. But Krupenking and Taylor’s concept for utilizing personal kinetic energy to power personal devices could revolutionalize at home charging. At this point, the pair’s sneaker reverse-electro wetting process is just a concept, but they’ve formed a company called Instep Nanopower and are looking for investors.
Via Geeks Are Sexy