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The Kid Should See This

How a failed invention lead to a potentially life-saving new idea

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Inventor Hahna Alexander spent years developing an idea that people said they really liked: Shoes that generate power as you walk, making it possible to charge a battery with them. But after starting a company and testing shoe prototypes, she learned something disappointing about her product: “No one really wanted to use it.”

“We kind of took it as a challenge. The failure taught us an important lesson: You have to make something that people can’t do without. So now we’re making a ‘smart’ shoe. Every step creates enough power to charge sensors like GPS, temperature, motion, and step count. The shoe sends all of this data to the internet.”

first idea: shoes that generate electricity
That data can help locate someone in a construction accident or dangerous military operations, two industries where her self-powered smart boots are now being used. This innovative wearable tech solution is at the core of her company SolePower and continues to help improve safety for people in high-risk occupations.

finding someone
Read more about Alexander in this feature from NPR: After A Failed Launch, Smart Shoe Benefits From A Reboot.

Try these videos next:
β€’Β The power of creative constraints
β€’ The Reinvention of Normal: Dominic Wilcox’s quest for new ideas
β€’ Plastic bottle water wheel power generator experiment
β€’ How do batteries work?

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