Charger in shoe: 24-year-old Kenyan’s groundbreaking invention

2012-06-06 00:00

A CHIP that can be placed in any shoe to generate electricity to charge a cellphone battery has earned a young Kenyan start-up funds and worldwide interest.

The invention of 24-year-old Anthony Mutua was unveiled at a Science and Innovation Week in Nairobi last month, garnering a grant equivalent to R50 000 from Kenya’s National Science and Technology Council to fund production of the device, reports Africa technology website www.humanipo.com.

Mutua says the chips will be marketed for less than $46 (about R400).

Kenya’s Saturday Nation (www.nation.co.ke) reported that they are already on sale in Kenya, and come with an 18-month guarantee.

Mutua, a graduate of the Mombasa Polytechnic University College, told the paper the chip can be placed in any shoe, and can be removed to be reused in another shoe.

He explained that the chip can work in two ways, either plugged directly into the device to be charged, on the go, or by storing energy that can be loaded into a device after the user has been out walking. Mutua feels the second option has more potential, and even offers job opportunities to wandering rechargers.

He is not saying much about precisely how the chip works, but experts except that electricity is generated by shape-changing properties of pizoid crystals in the chip.

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