Tom Krupenkin and J. Ashley Taylor have a dream – one that would see any gadget you carry around, ranging from cell phones to smartphones and portable electronic devices, getting charged up as long as you decide to follow the advice of someone whom you just irked – by taking a hike. Or a walk, it doesn’t matter, but what we’re more interested in is the ability for devices equipped with a new kind of energy-harvesting technology to reduce your dependence on batteries, but rather, harness all the kinetic energy that comes along with our gait.
Seems to sound as though it is the Matrix all over again, where machines depend on humans to power them – although like in the movies, they’re willing to “accept certain levels of existence”. According to Krupenkin, a UW-Madison professor of mechanical engineering, “While sprinting, a person can produce as much as a kilowatt of power.” That kind of energy will surely be enough to deliver juice for a variety of mobile electronic devices.
Needless to say, it will require some form of footwear-embedded energy harvester, and when coupled with other kinds of green technology such as LCD displays that rely on solar power and its own backlight to harvest energy, you surely have a far greener future down the road.
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