It’s 2013 and our everyday lives revolve and depend on our cellphones, televisions, air conditioners and radiators. Renewable and non-renewable energy sources are used to power our everyday necessities. We’re desperate to find a way to use renewable energy in a simple and affordable way (National Geographic). While we look for that solution, we can use another type of energy to power smaller things that we shouldn’t be wasting valuable energy on. We can try to harness our own energy to power things such as our cellphones, play music and even provide a light in the dark. The body is constantly in motion and is constantly exerting a force on the ground and this energy can be used to power small devices. We can create a portable device that we can place in the sole of our shoes while we’re doing exercise or going for a walk. The device will be sturdy, thin and flexible since it will shape for different shoe types and foot sizes. This device will be used to power things for a short amount of time. Even though it seems like a very small change, if over time many people begin to do it, it can have a significant change (Hebner).
Instead of using our phone chargers to recharge our phones or our iPods to listen to music, our shoes can do all of that for us. Rather than going home to charge your phone, you can go for a run. During the run the device in your shoes can absorb the kinetic energy you’re creating when you run, and be used to recharge your phone. Your phone will have to be plugged into the device, but you can just strap your phone onto your ankle while you run, it’ll charge from there. If you don’t want to bring your phone on the run, you’ll be able to program a playlist into the device; the playlist will start to work while you’re in motion. You’ll be able to listen to the music using portable headphones. If you don’t want to listen to music, you won’t use the headphones or you just won’t program a playlist. Everything will be powered by the run, jog or walk. This will motivate people to exercise. Rather than wasting money on over charging your phone when you leave it plugged in overnight, or wasting the battery on your computer listening to music, you can use the shoe insert, while using it you’ll create your own clean energy, by working out. Use the device when you’re at the gym you can work out and have your phone charging. Instead of using energy that pollutes the air and that is bad for the environment, doing light exercise can only improve your health and does not release bad pollutants that many fossil fuels do (Visser).
Besides promoting good health and a good environment, this portable device will also be good for safety purposes. One of the functions of the device is it will emit a bright light while you’re running in the dark. The same light will be emitted when you’re not in the dark; however, if you’re running in the daytime, the light won’t be as apparent. The light will be generated using your kinetic energy. The light will start once the device feels the force of the ground. While you exert a force onto the ground, the ground also exerts a force onto you according to Newton’s Third Law, which explains that every action has an equal and opposite reaction (“Newton’s Third Law”). One the device in the sole of the shoe feels this force of the ground it will light up. The light that your shoe gives off will help you see where you’re going. Rather than depending on streetlights your shoes will lead the way. The need for streetlights will cease to exist because your shoes will provide all the light that you need. Also at night many runners are hard to spot and drivers do not always see the runner, which can be dangerous and put the runners life at risk. The light that the shoes will give off will be bright enough to be noticed but not obnoxious enough to cause an accident.
This is a small and simple step we can take to try to conserve expensive and polluting energy. It’ll promote a healthy lifestyle and create a safer environment. Small steps like this are going to lead to greater solutions. It’s devices like this that will be useful because they’ll save money, they’re easy to use and it can have a wide range of uses. Looking into materials that will be able to absorb energy as well as detect force will be a useful way to find alternative means of energy. Using the energy our body produces should be recognized as an alternative means of energy because its renewable and everyone can do it (Hebner).
December 18, 2013
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