As gadgets become more and more compact and portable, one thing that continues to stand in the way is the limitation of current battery technology. Just think of how the majority of space and weight inside your tablet or smartphone is its battery pack, and they still often run out of juice before you’re done for the day. As companies continue to work on improving battery life, and decreasing consumption, it would be nice to be able to generate more power when you need it. One conceptual device hopes to help a little bit, by harnessing the energy you expend when you walk or run.
While industrial designer Toby Blake’s Kinetic Charger concept isn’t the first such gadget, it’s definitely one of the more stylish and compact attempts to create a kinetic-energy storage device. The small USB charger would simply clip onto your beltline or a pocket, and would harvest energy you expend as you move around throughout the day, using reverse electrowetting technology.
Blake envisions that each one could store up to 4 watts of power, and you could connect multiples together to increase available energy levels.
Now there are probably some practical challenges that would limit the effectiveness of such as small kinetic-capture device, and there’s really not much room inside of it for a supplemental battery pack to store that energy in either. Still, it’s a cool design, and I’d love to see it come to market someday.