These boots were made to charge cell phones

There are a ton of music festivals going on these days. Except, after days of dancing and digging live tunes, where do you juice up your dead cell phone? You can't just plug in in the middle of a field.

Well, a company in Europe may have a solution. U.K. mobile operator Orange has teamed with renewable-energy company GotWind to develop a set of Wellington boots with a "power-generating sole" that will convert heat from walking into electrical power.

From Reuters:

The boot was designed by Dave Pain, managing director at GotWind, a renewable energy company.

Pain said the boot uses the Seebeck effect, named after physicist Thomas Johann Seebeck, in which a circuit made of two dissimilar metals conducts electricity if the two places where they connect are held at different temperatures. "In the sole of the Wellington boot there's a thermocouple and if you apply heat to one side of the thermocouple and cold to the other side it generates an electrical charge... That electrical charge we then pass through to a battery which you'll find in the heel of the boot for storage of the electrical power for later use to charge your mobile phone."

Sounds weird but fine, right? Well...

The only problem -- You gotta walk 12 hours for just an hour's charge.

Pain said the company was working on improving the technology so that it can also be used in other forms of clothing.

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About the author

Daryl Paranada is the associate web producer for Marketplace overseeing all daily website content and production, as well as producing multimedia features -- including the popular economic explainer series Whiteboard -- and special projects. Follow him on Twitter @darylparanada.


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