One of the most intriguing inventions at the 1851 Great Exhibition was a silent alarm bed. This contraption worked through a mechanism that when connected to an alarm clock would tip a sleeping person out of bed at a time of their choosing. One suggestion by its inventor, R.W. Savage, was that the bed might tip people into a bath of cold water. This slightly soggy method wasn’t actually tested in the Crystal Palace – a relief for unsuspecting visitors!
Now, whilst this idea didn’t take off after the Great Exhibition, it did capture the imagination of visitors. Today, there are many inventors making sometimes weird but mostly wonderful technologies to help improve our lives.
One wonderful new technology is Pavegen. It’s a smart flooring system which harnesses the kinetic power of people’s footsteps and converts it into green energy.
Kinetic power just means the power generated by movement. To date, Pavegen has captured over half-a-billion footsteps!
That’s a lot of electricity!
As people step on the top surface, their weight causes generators underneath the tiles to rotate, creating electricity power via something called electromagnetic induction, which is a way that magnets can generate electricity.
Pavegen walkways can have sensors built into their tiles that capture and analyse data such as the number of steps and energy created which can help power street or office lights – all without having to burn any fossil fuels which are harmful for the environment.
And the more steps you take the more electricity there will be – so you’ll be in better shape as well!