Yep! You read that correctly. There are now “SmartBoots” that are in the making to become a new safety product in the industrial workforce. These boots would cater to construction workers, first responders, and U.S. soldiers.
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are three million injuries on worksites each year with nearly 5,000 of those accidents being fatal. CEO and Co-Founder Hanna Alexander was motivated to create SolePower which is a start-up designing a self-charging work boot that can have different types of sensors incorporated into them. These sensors would track things like temperature, location, fatigue in a worker, falls, injuries, workers being struck by cars and more. Gas companies could embed sensors into the boots to detect leaks on a job site. Other companies that send workers into cold climates could also use temperature gauges to track the risk of frostbite. While sensors in the workplace are nothing new, batteries have not been able to keep up – which is why the SmartBoot is designed to create energy with each footstep and can be used to charge devices. The sole can generate an hour of talk time on an iPhone after two hours of walking.
As of now, the U.S. Army is testing this product for energy harvesting solutions for backup batteries that soldiers need to carry. This boot will generate power with every step that is taken which will reduce the amount of weight on the soldiers. So far, the U.S Army has donated $1 Million dollars to SolePower to help fund this product.
No customers are using this boot yet, but SolePower will initially try to sell them to the oil, gas and construction industries to improve worker safety and efficiency. The company is working on a version for firefighters as well.
– Jeniece Pettitt, CNBC
SolePower currently has self-powering light-up safety boots that uses patented kinetic energy to charge.