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

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

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 award-winning video collection is reader-supported. Become a sustaining member to keep TKSST online and free for everyone, including teachers and parents who use it as a resource to spark learning and curiosity for kids.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

How to make LED sneakers – Adafruit Wearables

Rion Nakaya

Natural Climate Solutions: How nature can repair our broken climate

Rion Nakaya

How to make simple homopolar motor ‘race cars’

Rion Nakaya

Megabiskate: Skating as empowerment for Ethiopian kids

Rion Nakaya

It’s different from what you expected – Design Ah! (デザインあ)

Rion Nakaya

A lemon-powered supercar and making the world’s largest lemon battery

Rion Nakaya

Fungus: The Plastic of the Future

Rion Nakaya

Electric Dough Playdate, a fun way for kids to experiment with circuits

Rion Nakaya

Catching fog to help combat Peru’s water shortage

Rion Nakaya