Similar to AMPY, SolePower is another new offering in the realm of wearable technology that turns your movement into power for your smartphone. With SolePower, simply walking generates power through a shoe insole (“EnSole”) that hooks to a charger (“PowerPac”), which is easily attached to your shoelaces. You can charge your mobile devices through the PowerPac’s USB port.
According to SolePower founder Hahna Alexander in an interview with Smithsonian, SolePower holds a unique position in this growing field of energy harvesting technology: “One hour of walk time with a pair of EnSoles provides 2.5 hours of talk time on a smartphone. There is no personal power generator on the market that can match both the EnSole’s power output potential and low-profile and seamless integration with the user’s natural motion…every step you take is a step closer to a full battery.”
Multitasking At Its Finest
With SolePower, you can get some exercise, create power to charge your smartphone, and help conserve energy all at the same time. It’s no wonder SolePower made BuzzFeed’s “27 Reasons It’s the Greatest Time to Be Alive.” That’s one of the more lighthearted articles covering SolePower. It also garnered attention from the likes of Popular Science (winning one of the magazine’s coveted 2014 Invention Awards), Forbes, The Huffington Post, and dozens more. (See all the press coverage here.) It was enough to earn SolePower $60,000 in just 45 days on Kickstarter.com and thousands of pre-orders.
Powering the Future: Energy Harvesting
SolePower and AMPY are just two start-ups who are making breakthroughs in this field, and there are many more on the horizon of this seemingly science fiction world. But according to Wearable Technologies, “energy-harvesting wearables have been around for many years. Automatic watches have been converting the energy from arm movements for a while now and Seiko has even invented an electromagnetic generator that powers its quartz watches by its wearers’ physical movements.” The difference now is that our devices are more sophisticated and require more energy to run, so some of the innovations in the future will be focused on solar cells, thermoelectric harvesting, and piezoelectric harvesting. If I lost you at “solar cells,” you’re not alone. For the complete explanation of all of this fascinating technology, check out “Energy Harvesting for Wearables.”
It’s an app that’s “fun, easy, and free” with a relevant name and a very relevant cause: energy efficiency. Homeselfe gives you a DIY snapshot of your home’s energy efficiency. Its user-friendly design teaches you where your home is wasting energy and what actions to take, listed in order of importance.
Taking the Homeselfe
Homeselfe creates your personal home snapshot through your answers to a series of questions. These questions focus on areas in your home that have the biggest impact on energy conservation, including:
Appliances / Electronics
Heating / Cooling System
Windows & Doors
Then you’ll receive your Homeselfe – a report that tells you where your home is most and least efficient and a plan of action, complete with energy-saving tips. If major upgrades are required, your Homeselfe will connect you to contractors, special offers, and government incentives in your area.
Going Green from the Ground Up
Homeselfe joins a growing list of apps that aim to bring energy conservation down to a grassroots level. According to this article on Homeselfe’s website, “Many people get overwhelmed when thinking about how they could help reverse the effects of climate change on an entire planet; but every little decision to become more energy-efficient makes a difference and has an impact on the environment.”
From the White House to Your House
Homeselfe aligns itself with President Obama and his latest executive actions to fight climate change. “Our team here could not agree more with the president about our obligation to take steps toward a cleaner environment,” said Sukant Jain, creator of Homeselfe and CEO of Energy Datametrics. “We took that common passion and developed a tool to help homeowners.”
So go ahead, download the app and take a Homeselfe. Think of it as a very special selfie, snapped especially for Mother Earth.
Every day we see technology changing our world in ways we never dreamed possible. Too many apps to count hold the possibility to impact our daily lives, including those that help us conserve energy and fight global warming. Here’s a look at a few that are inciting change from the ground up by engaging individual action.
Making the Invisible Visible
Most people have a hard time getting their heads around something as abstract as a carbon unit. To paint a clearer picture of your carbon footprint, My Earth – Track Your Carbon Savings, tracks your energy savings with the visual of an iceberg growing bigger – complete with a cute polar bear perched on top. A user-friendly diary format enables you to keep track of the energy you use and suggestions are given on how you can conserve energy. The more suggestions you implement, the bigger your iceberg gets. This app’s ingenuity lies in the fact that it provides an eye-opening look at your own true carbon footprint and how small changes in your day-to-day life can make a big difference.
Green Is the New Black
According to Ian Monroe, the creator of the app Oroeco, going mainstream is a much more galvanizing way to bring about climate change than radical activism. His app also makes conserving energy an easy and fun game, but goes one step further by making the app linkable to Facebook, where you can compare your conservation performance to your friends. As you lower your footprint – and convince friends to – you earn points that can be redeemed for sustainable products.