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New product idea, inventor looking for feedback.
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Matthew Stanton

Locale: Pittsburgh
New product idea, inventor looking for feedback. on 01/24/2013 17:51:43 MST Print View

Hey all I'm currently developing a product that generates power while people walk. I've been hiking for years now and know how problematic it can be to run out of power at an inconvenient time. The device would slip into a boot and would be incorporated into a replaceable insole. If you have a few seconds and could fill out the survey below I'd really appreciate it, or feel free to post general comments on the idea.
Happy Trekking

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Trouble! on 01/24/2013 19:40:02 MST Print View

Already worried about the insole part. Not only do you have constant exposure to impact and moisture, everyone's feet are different and everyone wants different insoles. I wear two different insoles in my left and right boot, for instance.

I would make it something that attaches to the ankle or something instead. Or the top of the boot?

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: New product idea, inventor looking for feedback. on 01/24/2013 19:53:03 MST Print View

The military has looked at this extensively. Their needs for power are much greater than BPers. If I run out of juice in my cellphone, I can't post on FB. If HQ doesn't know a squad's location, they might drop a 500-pound bomb on them.

Focus on long-distance hikers, not on day hikers. You just can't beat an extra lithium battery bought for $1.76 on eBay out of Taiwan. Even for a week or two, I'd just bring 2 or 4 extra batteries.

More bad news: if we go to Ethiopia for some Doctors Without Border gig, I'm packing a solar panel. So the Venn diagram of this application is pretty small - moving far each day, great distances between re-supplies, deep pocket, but no sun, no wind, and no current.

Richard Fischel
incorporated into a replaceable insole? on 01/24/2013 19:58:19 MST Print View

as mentioned above, insoles to many are fairly personal and hiker/boot-shoe specific items. i use insoles as part of my boot-fit, sock combination package. I use diffrent insoles in the four pairs of boots i wear and none in my trail runners. i can only imagine the cabling will be a pia.

good luck

Simon Wurster
(Einstein) - F

Locale: Big Apple
Re: incorporated into a replaceable insole? on 01/25/2013 11:32:15 MST Print View

It doesn't have to work well. All he has to do is get it on the shelves of REI, Campmoor, EMS, etc. And if it doesn't sell there, it'll sell with the SkyMall crowd.

There are precedents for this technology: self-winding (automatic) watches. But those use relatively minuscule amounts of energy. I doubt we'll be getting 1000 mAh from these...

Spare batteries, either primaries or rechargeable, are still the best-bet for my needs.