We've been living with Kickstarter for a while now and there have been some really cool products to come out of it and while everyone seems to be flooding to the service with an idea, not all of them are fully realized. Every so often though, comes an idea that makes so much sense it's a wonder the device or product isn't already available to buy. One of those is SolePower, which can charge your smartphone as you walk, with little to no fuss, and unlike solar chargers, it's not dependent on the weather. In fact, if it rains that's not a problem as the creators are building the device to be weather-resistant.
SolePower takes the energy of a step and stores it in a rechargeable battery. The battery has to be either fitted to the shoe or strapped around your ankle, which might not be too appealing if you're a little fashion conscious but, it can be easily hidden by your pants. What's interesting here is that they're focusing all of their efforts of the sole itself, so you should be able to use it with whatever pair of shoes you like. SolePower's aim is to be able to recharge an iPhone in around 2 and a half miles of walking, which is apparently the average amount of walking we do in any given day.
While this certainly seems a little gimmicky on the surface, there are some genuine use cases for something like this. Those that find themselves walking a lot will be able to forget about where the next power outlet is and in developing countries it could be a godsend. SolePower are going to be targeting those that enjoy hiking and going on long walks at first, before perfecting it as something for everyone.
It's not going to be a device for everyone, no matter how they market it - for instance my battery life is awful but I'm very rarely on the go so, I just plug the sucker in. If I were to be on the go more though, I'd certainly think about something like this.
You can take a look at the video from the Kickstarter campaign below, let us know if you'd use something like this or if it's just too much of a gimmick for you.