But what if you could actually save fuel and even generate it as you were walking along? Maybe this would encourage a few more people to get out into the open and ditch the ride. It seems fanciful, but generating and collecting power from the routine wandering about we do all day is not that far off.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have discovered the potential to generate full watts of power in footwear by using a liquid metal called galinstan. Pouches hold the galinstan and they are positioned within the toe and heel areas of the shoe. As the user walks, the pouches force the liquid to pump within small channels and this creates electricity.
This electricity is then stored in a battery that is also within the sole of the shoe. This method of obtaining power is maintenance-free and differs greatly from other methods of harvesting energy from movement as it can actually generate watts of power as opposed to the current, fairly lame, milliwatts.
This is a very useful amount and could be used to power everyday items like mobile phones and MP3 players quite comfortably.
The idea should be marketable within the next few years with a view to making it a very affordable option, within reach of many people.