• SolePower is reinventing the way we charge our portable devices through a technology called SmartBoots, which feature removable shoe inserts that allow people to charge their gadgets by walking.
Gadgets and consumer devices, like smartphones, have become increasingly powerful—but while devices have improved, there hasn’t yet been much of a difference when it comes to batteries. Heavy usage often drains batteries fast. A tech startup called SolePower may have found a solution: charging while walking.
“The mission of SolePower is to make self-sustained wearables to make people’s lives better,” explained founder and CEO Hahna Alexander, during an interview for the 2017 Mothers of Invention (MOI) by Toyota. The MOI seeks to honor women who, through innovation, invention, and entrepreneurship, contribute to society and their immediate community.
SolePower wants to put an end to your battery problems, letting you charge your portables just by walking. The solution is an electric footwear called SmartBoots, which are “self-sustaining smart work boots [that] use the power of walking to charge a number of applications, including embedded location trackers, sensors and lights.”
Image Credit: SolePower
SolePower is also committed to bringing their footwear chargers to developing nations, where access to electricity can be unreliable or altogether unavailable.
Renewable and Creative
SmartBoots, and their embedded kinetic charger called Ensoles, are innovative concepts that make use of an activity most people regularly engage in. These removable shoe inserts include a battery, plus sensors, accelerometers and a WiFi module that sends data to the cloud.
These innovative chargers are already finding their way to various practical uses, including the U.S. military—where SmartBoots are reducing the weight of backup batteries carried by soldiers—and the industrial workplace.
Alexander first came up with the design concept for the SmartBoots when she was a college student at Carnegie Mellon University. Alexander explained the passion behind what she does: “Science, technology, and engineering [are] the future. And when you do create something that’s solving compelling problems for people, it does feel good,” she said.
As mobile devices, particularly smartphones, become a regular part of people’s every day lives, keeping these powered enough can make a significant difference. As SolePower explains: “SolePower has the opportunity to help people is in developing nations with products including Ensoles as well as Smart Boots. There are over 6 billion cell phones in the world, 1.5 billion of which are in developing regions. Portable electronics like cell phones act as lifelines, giving people access to everything from medical informat ion to an education.”
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