British Inventor Rolls Out “Smart-Floor” Technology

A British entrepreneur wants to turn your footsteps into electricity, and he claims the technology already works. The U.K. startup Pavegen is raising money for the high-tech flooring on a website called Crowdcube, a British crowdfunding service similar to KickStarter.

“Pavegen’s technology converts footsteps into electricity to power services in high-footfall locations and provide real-time data for analytics,” writes founder and CEO Laurence Kemball-Cook on Crowdcube.

“Founded in 2009, the company has delivered over 100 projects, including Heathrow Airport and Harrods, across 30 countries generating a cumulative revenue of over £2.5 million. With a global distribution network in place and internationally granted patents, the next step is scale.”

But do consumers really want “smartfloors”? Kemball-Cook is betting yes, and imagines a world run by the kinetic energy produced by human footsteps. Pavegen hopes to raise £750,000 to scale the business.

The green energy smartfloor uses an electromagnetic induction process to generate electricity, and the company claims it can power lights and even entire buildings. Kemball-Cook says the product will work best in high-traffic areas like transit stations and stadiums.

Pavegen even installed its kinetic flooring in a soccer field in a Rio de Janiro neighborhood, generating enough electricity to help power the field’s lights.

“We’ve got operations set up in nine different regions in the world,” Kemball-Cook told TechCrunch. “And we’ve deployed [the product] in 30 countries so we’ve got a bit of scale already.”

The company’s ultimate plan is to mass produce the flooring until it costs the same as “normal flooring.” In the United States, the flooring industry has already grown by 1.1% annually over the past five years. And with Silicon Valley constantly on the lookout for the next high-tech, hot-ticket item, American investors might want to get in on the ground floor of this emerging technology.

The flooring produces seven watts of power for every pedestrian that walks across its surface. However, Kemball-Cook warns customers interested in carpeting a house with the product (since 70% of flooring in the U.S. is covered with carpet) that its not quite ready to be rolled out for domestic use. Right now, Pavegen’s technology only works in very busy areas.


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