Already reaching forty percent of a $50,000 Kickstarter funding goal, SolePower is a shoe insole that can be inserted in to your favorite pair of shoes in order to collect energy generated by walking and turn it into electricity that can be used to recharge mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops. Conceptually, this would be ideal for people that like camping or hiking, basically anyone without access to electricity. It could also be useful for people that walk significant distances each day in large metropolitan areas like New York City or developing nations where walking is the primary method of transportation.
In order to get started, a SolePower user places the device into their shoe and threads the battery charging wire through the shoelace holes. After attaching the charging wire to the battery, the battery can be clipped to the shoe or wrapped around the ankle with the included leg band.
After approximately 2.5 to 5 miles of walking, the battery will be filled enough to completely recharge a dead iPhone or similar smartphone. Since the battery is detachable, the user doesn’t have to remove the Solepower device from their shoe either.
The device is specifically designed to be weather resistant in case it starts to rain or you happen to step in a large puddle. Both the battery pack and cable connections have been completely waterproofed. The SolePower insole can withstand up to 350 lbs of weight and will be available in US women’s 8 and up as well as men’s sizes.
Runners can also try using the SolePower to generate power, but the device captures energy from the force when a heel strikes the ground. Runners that use the forefoot strike form when jogging won’t benefit from using the SolePower. The technology behind the Solepower is very similar to hand crank flashlights, specifically using “mechanical linkages and generators” to charge the battery. According to the project timetable, the SolePower creators are targeting a December 2014 delivery date of the first production batch.