Japanese telecommunications giant, NTT, have developed a pair of prototype shoes that generate electricity when you walk. The shoes produce 1.2 watts, which is enough energy to power your iPod forever – as long as you don’t stop walking.
The shoes are fitted with water-filled soles that when squished with each step, forces the water past a small turbine submerged/embedded inside. The turbine is attached to a small generator which produces electricity.
Apparently the company is trying to increase the power generation to 3 watts, which would be enough to charge a mobile phone. If you needed to make a call but have a low battery, you could maintain a connection with a bit of “walk and talk.”
The shoes do not have batteries to store energy, but that could be a possible addition if the technology proves popular. NTT is looking to have their generator in real products by 2010.
The water-filled soles sound like they’d be really comfy…aside from the turbine sticking into your foot. Wait. Maybe the turbine would be in the arch. They couldn’t leave it jutting out the front like that! Also, no word on any clever power-transfer tech…who really wants a cord snaking up their leg?