Northwestern students win $75,000 for device that recharges smartphones

By Anastasia Forina, Tribune reporter

April 6, 2014

A device that uses kinetic energy to recharge smartphone batteries, invented by three students at Northwestern University, won a $75,000 award at Thursday’s Clean Energy Trust Competition.

Called myPower, the device can generate up to six hours of life for a smartphone battery. Lightweight, it connects with a smartphone via cable.

“We are all runners and we are all smartphone users so we asked ourselves why can’t we use these calories we burn while running to charge our smartphones,” said Alexander Smith.

Walking 10,000 steps, or 4.5 miles, can generate three hours of extra battery life; 40 minutes of running or 60 minutes of biking can generate six extra hours, Smith said.

MyPower can also be used to track the amount of energy a person produces and the number of steps the wearer has taken. The device has a smartphone application that allows it to integrate with social media.

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