When we think about wearables, we primarily think of sensors and gadgets that latch on to our bodies that provide us with fitness and health data. However, these sensors consume power, and thus far the challenge of wearables has been to extend battery life so that gadgets can continue to sense the world around them in meaningful ways without having the owner worry about recharging. And this is where sole power comes in as a way to harness the power of your footsteps.
Envisioned by Angelo Casimiro, aged 15, as part of a Google Science Fair entry, the idea is that energy from your footsteps can be used to power gadgets. Casimiro's idea is to use a generator that's embedded in the soles of your shoes utilizing two pieces of piezo-electric plates. The plates generate energy when the crystal bends and the generated power can be stored in a battery pack that's used to charge or recharge any device over USB.
The idea is simple and elegant, though doesn't generate ample power just yet. In this instance, an iPhone can be charged for 10 minutes if use only after 2 hours of the wearer actively playing basketball.
Though the idea to charge a power-hungry phone may not yield that much power, Casimiro's idea could be used for devices that consume less power, like wearable sensors if it could be commercialized in the future.