Developing technologies have made it possible to turn motion into useable energy! It’s been discovered that contact between surfaces creates a charge differential. This charge differential causes a voltage difference that can be harnessed for useable power. This makes it possible to reuse kinetic energy for technological uses. In fact, it has been determined that one human step generates enough electricity to power two, 60-watt bulbs for a second. Although this is a small amount of energy, a large enough number of steps can produce a significant amount of electricity that can be put towards practical uses.
There are many fields of research looking into this new technology. In Japan, many train and subway stations (places with high population densities) have installed energy-collecting surfaces. Although it does not produce enough electricity to power these trains, this electricity is used to power the lights and ticket machines.
This technology is also being used towards hopefully finding a way to charge phones by movement. Some hope that by placing generators in the soles of shoes, phones can be plugged into these shoes in order to charge them. Other groups are hoping to place generators on the phones themselves so that contact and friction between the phone and pocket can be harnessed directly to the phone.
I feel that research into this field should become a heavy priority. Energy that we are producing ever day simply through our movement can be harnessed, but is being totally wasted with every step. Literally. There are countless possibilities to which this can be applied. Further pursuit into this area would be a smart move if we hope to enter an age of renewable energy.