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Handhelds Power Technology

Theoretical Shoe Inserts Could Power Your Gadgets 210

In his first accepted submission, Anon8---) writes "As published on, a process called electrowetting, 'in which a conductive liquid droplet, placed on an electrode, is physically deformed by an applied electric charge,' could be used to provide 10 watts of juice to smartphones and other gadgets as you walk. 'The technique depends on the use of a dielectric material — which is usually an insulator but that can be polarized in an electric field — to coat the electrode. When the dielectric is charged the droplet can wet the surface more easily, and deforms. In his system, Krupenkin runs this process backwards, using the changing physical form of liquid drops between dielectric-coated plates to generate charge and therefore electrical power.' So far, Krupenkin and Ashley Taylor have been able to produce a few milliwatts of power along tiny channels a few millimeters wide. They have patented the idea and are now concentrating on scaling up the device and designing a shoe to contain it."
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Theoretical Shoe Inserts Could Power Your Gadgets

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  • Re:Won't work in LA (Score:4, Informative)

    by SlideGuitar ( 445691 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @11:09AM (#37219212)

    Hard to imagine that the conversion of gasoline energy to electricity could occur more efficiently through the tires than through the cars electrical system...

  • Re:Comparison (Score:4, Informative)

    by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Friday August 26, 2011 @11:24AM (#37219424) Homepage

    Somewhat immaterial. Unless you are taking a walk specifically to charge your devices (possible I suppose, but probably unlikely), most of us spend at least several hours a day moving around via a foot power. The energy created by our our regular controlled impacts with the ground is normally simply lost; this would allow the capture of at least some of it. In the third world environments they're targeting, people walk even more. I can also see this being great for hiking, camping, and all sorts of outdoor activities that can leave you far away from power sources.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling