Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 18, 2013.

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SolePower is a power generating shoe insole for charging portable electronics while you walk.

Featured in: Outside Magazine | Mashable | Cnet | BBC | Bild.de 

New Category: “HAPPY FEET” – Funding goes towards documenting the reactions off all the people in developing nations that will receive the insoles people have bought for them. Any extra money will be used to produce more insoles to be given away. Backers will get a bumper sticker.

Reach Goals: 

  • $65,000: We will give 20 insoles to individuals in developing nations. Also, allow for a choice of color for ankle bracelet.
  • $75,000: We will give 50 insoles to individuals in developing nations. We'll open another bracket for $20, which will give backers the option of printing a monochrome image or name on the battery pack.
  • $90,000: We'll donate 100 insoles to individuals in developing nations. 

Read full details here

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SolePower

SolePower is a power-generating shoe insole for charging portable electronics like cell phones, music players, or GPS devices. 

Foot-powered, energy harvesting devices aren't anything new. What we're doing differently is building the device into a removable insole so it doesn't need to be embedded in a shoe. This means you can swap it between your favorite pair of sneakers and your hiking boots. 

How it works

1. Slip SolePower into your shoe and snake the charging wire through your laces.

2. Plug the charging wire into the battery. The battery can either be fastened around your ankle or clipped to the top of your shoe.

3. Walk! 

4. Unplug the battery from the insole and plug it into your device.

5. Stop to ponder how lucky you are to have a mobile, back up power source that can be used anywhere, anytime! 

Specs

  • Waterproof and weather resistant. 
  • Simulated to 100 million steps (i.e. you'll wear out your shoes first).
  • Between 2.5 and 5 miles of walking for a full (iPhone) charge.
  • Passes clinical recommendations for insole size. 

Applications

SolePower is ideal for anyone who doesn't have access to mobile power. The New York Times said it best: “Life is becoming increasingly mobile … if only the batteries lasted long enough.”

A business person might use SolePower walking a trade show floor, a hiker would find SolePower very useful for charging cameras or GPS on long hikes, anyone in a natural disaster (i.e. hurricane Sandy) could use SolePower for emergencies. 

But where SolePower really has the opportunity to help people is in developing nations. There are over 6 billion cell phones in the world, 1.5 billion of which are in developing regions. Portable electronics like cell phones act as lifelines, giving people access to everything from medical information to an education. 

Status and Funding

What you see in the video is our alpha prototype. The power generation design (the mechanism that fits in the insole) is working, but our electronics are still breadboarded. The ankle bracelet is a mock up, but is an accurate representation of how the final product will look and feel.

The money we raise will go towards building the ankle bracelet and finalizing a mass producible product.  

The more money we raise, the faster we can get to market. We've got a really dedicated team from Carnegie Mellon University and UC Berkeley, so we're very confident we can deliver an awesome product on time!

Manufacturing Timeline

We’re engineers so we’re conservative when it comes to technology-related timelines. But we’re also entrepreneurs, so don’t be surprised if we get our product out earlier than expected.  Here’s our timeline:

TRYING ON SHOES – We’ll take the next couple months to test our product. We've told our beta testers to take a hike. They’ll evaluate our product over the summer; we’ll identify any problems with the device and incorporate fixes into the design. (Summer, 2013)

LEARNING TO WALK – Upon completion of the beta, we’ll start to walk with the design. We’ll integrate updates and improvements from the beta testers and validate our supply chains and manufacturing methods. (Sep-Dec, 2013)

WALKING –We’ll work with our knowledgeable AlphaLab mentors (check out our bio) to finalize our supply chains and complete tooling requirements. Manufacturing tools are manufacturing aids like fixtures, dies, and cutters that enable manufacturers to make parts in high volumes; usually it takes a couple months to develop tools. (Jan-May, 2014)

RUNNING:  Production and distribution (Jun-Dec, 2014). 


A bit about our story.

This idea started as a capstone mechanical engineering design project at Carnegie Mellon University. We developed a proof-of-concept prototype for lighting up shoes so students could easily see where they were walking at night, and cars could easily see the students. We quickly realized that the power generation concept was more universal than small lights. By storing the charge in an external system, we could generate enough power to charge small, mobile electronics like cell phones. Thus, SolePower was born. 

We're inventors at heart, and our goal is to solve problems using cool technology. Plus, we'd reeeaaallly like our phones to stop dying! 

Rewards

SolePower T-Shirt
SolePower T-Shirt
SolePower Sticker
SolePower Sticker

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The biggest technical challenge is the size of the insole. We've talked A LOT with local podiatrists to make sure SolePower doesn't affect the way people walk. The insoles you see in the video are professional, custom orthotics and pass clinical recommendations.

The second challenge is large scale manufacturing. We've got some fantastic mentors who have scaled up electronics companies from local businesses to global players. We're working closely with them to make sure we meet our delivery goals. Check our bios for more specifics.

A quick note about funding - $50,000 won’t get us through the entire manufacturing and distribution process. We are among the finalists in several national competitions and engaged with investors who are interested in helping us reach our goals. Although things are going well, this Kickstarter campaign will be a crucial part in assisting and even accelerating the process of getting our product market-ready. In addition, we know that there are people who are as excited as we are for our product. So it’s not simply about crowdfunding - we see this Kickstarter campaign as the first step to building a community for outdoor enthusiasts, tech geeks, humanitarians, and everyone who believes in innovative ways that people, technology, and nature interact can with each other.

FAQ

637
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  • Pledge $3 or more
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    44 backers

    BABY STEPS - A subscription to SolePower's newsletter. Thank you for your support!

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    27 backers

    TIPPY TOES - Thanks for stepping up! Have a SolePower bumper sticker to help us spread the word!

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    4 backers

    HAPPY FEET - Backer will receive a SolePower bumper sticker. All support in this category will go toward the "HEART AND SOLE" plan to document the effects of the donated insoles on people in developing countries. Funds beyond the cost of filming will go to providing additional insoles to people in need.

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    41 backers

    FOOTPRINT - Super cool SolePower t-shirt.

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    5 backers

    ARCH SUPPORTERS - A SolePower t-shirt, water bottle, and bumper sticker!

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    50 backers All gone!

    POWER WALKERS (limited) - The SolePower insole and a SolePower t-shirt and bumper sticker for the first 50 backers. Walk away my friends, and enjoy mobile charging while you do it!

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    50 backers All gone!

    A BROAD STEP (limited) - International backers, this one's for you! A SolePower insole, t-shirt, and sticker.

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    199 backers Limited (1 left of 200)

    BIG SHOES TO FILL (limited) - The SolePower insole for the first 200 backers and a SolePower t-shirt and bumper sticker.

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    132 backers Limited (18 left of 150)

    WALKING AROUND THE WORLD (limited) - International backers, this one's for you! A SolePower insole, t-shirt, and sticker.

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    9 backers Limited (291 left of 300)

    SHOEPER DUPER (limited) - The SolePower insole for the first 300 backers and a SolePower t-shirt and bumper sticker.

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  • Pledge $300 or more
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    14 backers Limited (36 left of 50)

    HEART AND SOLE (limited) - An insole for you and an insole for someone in need. Plus we'll send you a SolePower t-shirt, water bottle, and bumper sticker. The first 50 backers will be listed on our website as the "sole of SolePower".

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    6 backers Limited (14 left of 20)

    SOLEPOWER SUPERHERO (limited) - An insole for you and an insole for someone in need. Plus we'll send you a SolePower t-shirt, water bottle, and bumper sticker. The first 20 backers will be listed on our website as a "SolePower Superhero".

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    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $3,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    3 BIG STEPS - A SolePower insole and the opportunity to go on a two day camping/hiking trip with the inventors on an east coast trail. Backer will be responsible for personal travel and equipment expenses, and the trip will be featured on our website. (And of course, a t-shirt, water bottle, and bumper sticker too).

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    SOLE SURVIVOR - Backer will receive the very first SolePower insole and the opportunity to go on a 3 day camping/hiking trip with the inventors anywhere in the continental US. Backer will be responsible for personal travel and equipment expenses, and the trip will be featured on our website. (And of course, a t-shirt, water bottle, and bumper sticker too).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
Funding period

- (45 days)