Wednesday, February 13, 2008

More Juice for Your iPhone

My colleague Mohammad is an electrical engineer. I'm a mechanical engineer. We often find ourselves in the office having discussions about our "million dollar ideas" - ideas for products or services that will make us a million dollars and allow us to retire early.

One of my ideas - that Mohammad shot down - was a battery in your shoe that would charge as you walked. I figured this would be a great, inexpensive way to always have extra juice for your mobile gadgets - cell phone, ipod, iphone, even laptop.

I didn't do anything with my idea - except share it with a few friends, but it looks like some researchers in Canada have built a prototype similar to what I describe - a little higher on the leg though.

From Wireless Tech: New Knee Device Can Juice Up Your Mobile Gear.
According to an article in this month's Science Journal, researchers at Simon Frasier University in British Columbia have developed a new technology to generate electricity from the natural motion of walking. Assistant professor of kinesiology Max Donelan and other team members say their biomechanical energy harvester promises to revolutionize the way people charge the batteries that power all sorts of mobile devices, like laptops, cell phones, and emergency rescue gear.

The energy harvester, which straps across a knee joint just like an athletic knee brace, can generate up to five watts of electricity with little physical effort. And one minute of brisk walking can generate 13 watts -- enough to support 30 minutes of cell-phone use.

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