SolePower turns walking energy into battery power for your smartphone


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.

solepower-in-actionIn 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. 

Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.

Patent highlights Apple's sky-high ambitions for AirPower wireless charger

At its September event last year, Apple unveiled the AirPower -- its new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.

Simplify your life with one of these wireless smartphone charger deals

Banish nightly cable fumbling with a wireless smartphone charger. If your smartphone is compatible with wireless charging, the simplicity of placing it on a pad is a beautiful thing. Wireless chargers are also excellent gifts for coworkers.
Emerging Tech

The best solar chargers for your phone, tablet, and other battery-powered gear

Looking for a gizmo that can help you charge your phone while on the go? Here, we've outlined the best solar chargers on the market, whether you're looking to charge your phone once, twice, or three times over.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.

Has Columbus, Ohio raised its IQ yet? A progress report from the mayor

Two years ago, the city of Columbus in Ohio received $40 million to pursue smart city initiatives. So, what’s happened since then? We spoke with its mayor, Andrew Ginther, to discuss progress and what’s ahead.
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Emerging Tech

Hear the sounds of wind on Mars from InSight’s latest audio recording

NASA's InSight craft has captured the sound of the wind blowing on the surface of Mars. The audio file was picked up by the air pressure sensor and the seismometer which detected vibrations from the 10 to 15 mph winds in the area.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

New experiment casts doubt on claims to have identified dark matter

A South Korean experiment called COSINE-100 has attempted to replicate the claims of dark matter observed by the Italian DAMA/LIBRA experiment, but has failed to replicate the observations.
Emerging Tech

White dwarf star unexpectedly emitting bright ‘supersoft’ X-rays

NASA's Chandra Observatory has discovered a white dwarf star which is emitting supersoft X-rays, calling into question the conventional wisdom about how X-rays are produced by dying stars.

Amazon scouted airport locations for its cashier-free Amazon Go stores

Representatives of Amazon Go checkout-free retail stores connected with officials at Los Angeles and San Jose airports in June to discuss the possibility of cashier-free grab-and-go locations in busy terminals.