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Technology / Mobile phone

Charge your phone - with your shoe!

by Staff reporter
30 Nov 2013 at 03:25hrs | Views
The phone-charging shoe that harvests energy through an ultra tiny chip designed by 24-year-old Kenyan graduate Anthony Mutua is now available market after patenting it. Mutua developed a very tiny chip of crystals that is fitted under the sole of a shoe. When a person walks, the chip harvests energy that is generated, which is then used to charge a phone.

Mutua says the energy is harvested in two ways: "It charges the phone when the wearer is in motion through a thin extension cable that runs from the shoe to the pocket. The shoe can also charge the phone immediately after a walk since the crystals have the capacity to store electric energy."

The chip can be inserted in the sole of any shoe and be moved to another one. The options are to charge the phone while walking or immediately after. It is a great advantage to people who may wish to do it for business, as several phones can be charged simultaneously using the stored energy.

In early 2013, a London-based site that gathers entrepreneurs ideas rated Mutua's technology as among the top 10 in the world, alongside others like, Talk of face book hangers in Brazil, The Connected side walk in Spain, The open source personal water desalinator in Italy and the real time sports performance tracking in US among others.

The product is already patented with the Kenya Industrial Property Institute, a body responsible for patenting and protecting intellectual property in Kenya. He is now developing a website that will promote the production and marketing of the product.

"We plan to start by building a community of passionate customers, and we plan to monetise our offering in the next phase," says Mutua.

He adds the shoe gadget will have a lifespan of two years.

Mutua has exhibited his technology at several events, attracting overwhelming responses from industry leaders like Eric Schmidt, the Google executive chairman.

Here is his quote: "As 5 billion come online, innovation will increasingly come from the margins, with entrepreneurs and inventors building for different audiences and incredibly specific problems. With high hopes that the shoes will be available on the market at an affordable price, the money spent travelling to the nearest centre to find a phone charging shop will be saved and used on other needs.

People in the rural areas will be able to communicate with their relatives around the globe without fear of the battery going off.

This is a green energy technology that will help reduce carbon footprints from the diesel engines or car batteries that are used to charge the phones. Still it will open job opportunities for the young and old who would prefer wearing the shoes and later using them to charge other peoples phones using the stored energy. 

If the technology will be adopted by many people in Africa, life will be better as everyone embraces the use of information communication technology as a tool for development. 

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