Nippon Telegraph and Telephone claims to have developed shoes that when used can charge small electronic devices. Hideomi Tenma, NTT spokesman, stated that their current prototype can generate 1.2 watts of power, enough to run an iPod. The shoe’s electricity is derived from the kinetic energy that people naturally produce when they are walking. With each step, the water-filled shoes spin a small turbine that generates the power. NTT’s goal is for the generators to produce 3 watts of electricity, which is sufficient to run most cell phones. The Tokyo-based telecommunications company owns Docomo, which is among the largest mobile phone operators in Japan and presumably the first company that will market the device. NTT plans to integrate the device into their products by 2010.
"The shoes do not have a power-storage function, but you would be able to charge a mobile phone automatically or talk on it forever as long as you connect the phone to your shoes and just keep walking." Tenma said. Hopefully before release, NTT’s marketing department will get a chance to give some style to the shoes, which look like overpriced Tevas.
NTT is the world’s second largest telecommunications company, and the first largest in Asia. One-third of the telecommunications giant is owned by the Japanese Government, which partially privatized the company in 1985 to induce competition in their telecom industry. The company remains at the forefront of cutting edge developments in Japanese telecommunications.