Futuristic shoe generates electricity to run iPods

First the awesome emergency shoes, now another shoe-related technology from Japan: NTT, the country’s biggest telecommunications company, presents sandals that are able to generate electricity when walking.

Each step users take puts pressure on the liquid-filled sole. Two tanks are positioned below the toe and heel and connected via a small pipe. Every step creates water flows within the soles, enabling a small turbine generator to produce up to 1.2W of electricity.

NTT spokesmann Hideomi Tenma told Japanese press that this level is enough to run an iPod without using batteries provided the user keeps on walking (there is no power storage function).

The shoes were developed in one of NTT’s laboratories in Atsugi near Tokyo. The company aims at doubling the energy level to 3W (sufficient to power a mobile phone) before commercializing the technology in 2010. NTT is currently looking into collaborating with shoe makers to improve the quality of the final product.

Image: Courtesy of AFP/Getty Images