Vibram, in collaboration with InStep NanoPower, Instituto Italiano di Tecnologia and the University of Wisconsin, has developed an inexpensive prototype that is capable of converting kinetic energy into electrical energy, which can in turn be used to power smartphones or other electrical devices. Termed the Hero (for “Harvesting of Energy in Rubber Outsole”) Project, this wearable device, when inserted into the sole of a shoe, can generate a maximum of three watts of power. In this way, a walk of eight hours could potentially fully charge a smartphone battery. At present, the Italian outsole maker is still looking into possible applications of the device. Commercialization is expected to take place in the future in partnership with external footwear brands.