“Reverse Electrowetting,” a phrase that conjures images of a robot peeing the bed backwards (Osaka University’s CB2, perhaps), is actually the process of generating electricity via, in this case, walking on electric shoe juice. Which is pretty hott.
Not only could this power my phone, GPS, and A/C underwear, in theory such systems could be applied to a wide variety of energy-consuming devices including prosthetics, larger wearable robotics, and full-on exoskeletal human augmentation systems. AND, in developing countries where electrical infrastructure might be lacking, these shoes might be a nice peripheral for the OLPC!
I’m certainly hip to powering my technology with my physiology. Go Wisconsin, go.