SolePower shoe is a device that charges your phone while you walk – a possible lifesaver if your phone is about to die and you still have a few blocks before you reach your destination.
The device itself is an insole that fits into your shoe, capable of charging portable devices such as cell phones, MP3 players, and GPS units. An electrical wire runs from the SolePower insole, via your shoe and out through the laces. This wire connects to a portable battery that can be strapped to the side of the shoe, or around your ankle.
Just by walking around, the insole converts the energy from each of your steps into usable electricity, which is transferred to the portable battery. This can then be plugged into a device such as your cell phone – allowing you to make that all important call. Clearly a much better solution than finding an electrical outlet and sitting beside it for 10-20 minutes while your phone charges.
Right now, the sole prototype is rated to last 100 million steps. The ultimate aim SolePower is to develop a shoe that charges your iPhone while you walk – 2.5 miles for a full charge to be precise.
The startup began as a design project at Carnegie Mellon University and the team is now continuing development through Pittsburgh-based incubator called AlphaLab. The startup also hopes to mimic the success of TOMS Shoes' buy-one-send-one offering by allowing customers to buy two pairs and send one to a developing nation.
SolePower is also using Kickstarter to try and raise $50,000 of funding, money that would allow further development of their prototype and help finalize the shoe. A limited number of backers who pledge at least $100 can be among the first to get the SolePower insole.
A shoe that chargers your phone while you walk could be a lifesaver, would you buy one of SolePower's products?