Capturing the kinetic energy of everyday, walking movements isn’t exactly a novel undertaking. So far, though, we have yet to see a viable commercial product capable of mainstream appeal. The Ampy is hoping it has the right formula to make that happen.
A small device about half the size of a smartphone, it can be strapped to the arm, leg, or hip, where it will generate energy using nothing but the wearer’s succeeding movements. If you’d rather not wear it on your body, it can still generate when simply dropped on a pocket or a purse, although it’s rated to be less than what can be produced if the device is worn.
Ampy uses a proprietary linear inductor for kinetic generation, which they claim to be a lot more efficient than previous technologies that utilized magnets. It’s self-contained, with all power generated sent directly to an internal battery housed inside the device (which you can charge from via USB), so there are no dangling wires to mess with whatsoever. Walking 10,000 steps or running for 30 minutes can produce enough energy to power a smartphone for up to three hours of talk time, making for a device that actually seems very practical during real world use.
The accompanying smartphone app will show both the amount of energy you’ve generated for any given period, as well as the estimated amount of calories you’ve burned, so there’s a functional, if limited, fitness tracking element to it as well. Do note, Ampy doesn’t require a smartphone connection to work, so you can strap it on for your morning jog and leave the phone at home with no problem.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for Ampy. Pledges to reserve a unit start at $75.