Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

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

Watch more with these video collections:

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.”

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.

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

Next: The power of creative constraints, The Reinvention of Normal: Dominic Wilcox’s quest for new ideas, Plastic bottle water wheel power generator experiment, and How do batteries work?

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

How do you rescue good ideas from the Valley of Death?

Rion Nakaya

From Trash to Space Hippie: Nike shoes made from waste

Rion Nakaya

Is this the longest simple electric train track in the world?

Rion Nakaya

The Soccket, an energy-generating soccer ball that turns into a lamp

Rion Nakaya

How to make a face shield in 3 easy steps

Rion Nakaya

Are your sneakers are part of the plastic problem?

Rion Nakaya

How can nature be used as a tool to restore ecosystems?

Rion Nakaya

Natural Climate Solutions: How nature can repair our broken climate

Rion Nakaya

$15 thrift store shoe restoration

Rion Nakaya