This Amazing Teen Invented a Shoe Insole That Charges Your Phone While You Walk

The footwear, which generates electricity as the wearer moves, is a finalist at this year’s Google Science Fair.
Jun 15, 2014·
Kristina Bravo is Assistant Editor at TakePart.

Kiss those days of bemoaning your phone’s terrible battery life good-bye. Science whiz Angelo Casimiro, a 15-year-old from the Philippines, has found a new way to harvest energy that isn’t solar, hydro, or biogas: your footsteps.

Casimiro put two pairs of piezoelectric discs on shoe insoles to generate power out of the pressure from walking—no coils, motors, or moving parts needed. That energy can then be transferred to a USB port, which a small battery-powered device such as a smartphone can plug into.

In one test, two hours of playing basketball generated 10 minutes’ worth of battery-charging electricity for a smartphone.

Casimiro was inspired to search for a power-generating solution by what he sees in his own neighborhood. “Just by looking around my surroundings, I can see that a lot of people are suffering from poverty,” he says in the video above. “A simple source of light is a big deal for people who don’t have electricity.”

The teenager admits that in its current form, his invention might not solve the energy crisis. But it’s not hard to imagine how, a decade from now, a souped-up version of the insoles could make a big impact on the lives of those who need electrical power.