Solepower, one step at a time! These smart soles celebrate the power of walking both technically and holistically!
Finalists in the Wearable Technologies category of the SXSW™ 2015 Accelerator Awards, the prototype of this invention was initially developed within the context of a mechanical engineering class at Carnegie Mellon. The professor assigned the task: “Make a product that will benefit students on campus” and the group designed the energy harvesting shoe, with LED lights, for safe walking at night!
The rest is history… two members of the group, Hahna Alexander and Marc Stanton, refined the prototype, and a company called SolePower was born, extending the concept of a power harvesting shoe to mobile power generation and storage. The SolePower Ensole with PowerPac is the company's first manufactured product, designed to produce power “on the go” for charging mobile devices, as a benefit to people worldwide!
In a nutshell, this invention: harvests energy generated while walking using a smart sole inserted in a shoe, which also stores the collected energy in a USB-enabled powerpac attached to the shoe. The energy thus harvested can then be used to charge USB-enabled mobile devices – on the go. The invention sole is packed with embedded technology and it is manufactured in two parts, using podiatry guidelines for shock absorbency, comfort and fit on the top layer.
The recently published (March 12, 2015) patent application corresponding to the sole parts for comfort and housing of the mechanical and electronic hardware is WO2015034770, titled Segmented insoles for support of embedded systems. This patent recites a two part insole: a customizable, removable and cut-to-fit top part, designed according to podiatry guidelines, and a lower part for housing mechanical and electrical components, including treads for inducing friction with the base of the shoe.
The short abstract for WO2015034770, titled Segmented insoles for support of embedded systems appears below, with an image of the sole above.
A two part insole having one part for housing smart systems embedded within an insole, and a second part for maintaining comfort of a cut-to-fit insole to increase the functionality of the overall product for the user [WO2015034770].
If you plan on globetrotting, and think you might need power on the go, you can pre-order this product for $199.00. It includes 2 Ensoles and two PowerPacs (one for each foot!).