These shoes generate power with every step you take
Smartphones and wearable computers have become incredibly popular in recent years, but batteries can’t always keep pace with our ever-increasing demand for power. These personal electronics can just about do it all, but after a few hours of heavy usage, it’s time to recharge. Can we ever move past our addiction to the wall socket? Researchers in Germany have designed a tiny system embedded in a pair of shoes that effectively harvests the energy expended by the simple act of walking. With this system, you can actually power your own electronics as you walk around.
In the journal Smart Materials and Structures, Klevis Ylli and his team outline how they were able to use two different types of harvesters to capture significant amounts of energy from the swing of the foot and the strike of the heel. The first harvester accelerates magnets through a set of coils when the foot swings, and the second uses frequency up-conversion to trigger a spring-loaded magnetic circuit into resonance when the heel strikes the ground.
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