By Deputy Johnson
Dr. Ville Kaajakari, assistant professor of electrical engineering at Lousisana Tech University has developed a technology that harvests power from a small generator embedded in the sole of a shoe. The shoe efficiently converts a piezoelectric charge used to charge useable batteries or directly power electronics. They could be used to power portable devices without the use of wasteful batteries. The breakthrough uses low cost polymer transducers that has metalized surfaces for electrical contact. Unlike conventional ceramic transducers the polymer based generator is soft and robust matching properties of regular shoe fillings. Therefore the transducer can replace the heel shock absorber with no loss in user experience. The new shoe will be on sale in 1-2 years for about 11$ per heel insert.