New technology will allow you to charge gadgets with your shoes

Steps

Call it an extremely modernized way to walk and talk at the same time, without losing significant phone battery charge. A young developer from Kenya is introducing a new technology that will make your shoes capable of charging your mobile devices simultaneously as you walk.

Anthony Mutua, 24, concocted an ultra-thin chip of crystals that can generate power when pressure is applied to the chip. This means that when inserted into the soles of shoes, each step helps to harvest electricity from the chip in your shoes and into your mobile device through an extension cord. You don’t have to keep walking to generate energy, however. The shoes can also continue to charge phones after walks by storing electric energy even after the shoes remain static.

At the moment, Mutua is aiming to mass produce the technology with the hopes that the added convenience can help people charge several devices at the same time, all while users go about their every day activities. The chips are also transferrable, and can be switched out to a different pair of shoes should the first pair wears out. Best of all, the technology will be relatively low in cost, at just 3,800 Kenyan shillings (or approximately $45 USD) per shoe and comes with a two year warranty (that doesn’t cover stolen or lost item, unfortunately).

Mutua’s project has officially been patented and received a funding of 500,000 KSH, or $6024 USD, by Kenya’s National Council of Science and Technology to help commercialize the product. “This and the possibility of a bigger market could eventually bring down the purchase price,” Mutua told Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper.

There are no set dates for when the chips will enter mass production, or if the chips will withstand all-weather conditions and extreme pressure. If the latter is possible, this will be great news for joggers who also use their phones as music players during the run. Despite our questions, the technology is a seamless and efficient way to harvest energy and encourage people to get some exercise in while charging their gadgets without even realizing it, so we hope the chips eventually arrive to the United States in the near future.

Image Credit: Flickr / Aschevogel

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