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The British startup Pavegen has developed floor tiles that generate renewable energy as you walk
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Apart from consuming energy as we walk, we can also generate it. This has been demonstrated by the system devised in 2009 by Laurence Kemball-Cook, founder and CEO of the London startup Pavegen. The system is based on floor tiles that sink between five and ten millimetres when you step on them, activating an electromagnetic generator that produces renewable energy.
Since its foundation in 2009, the company has carried out more than 200 installations in 30 countries. On top, the tiles can now generate 200 times more energy than when they were first invented. A number of temporary installations have been spearheaded by different brands. Often the tiles are used as part of a game that lets users experience how their steps create energy, which is then transformed into light, for example. There have also been permanent projects, and Pavegen was involved in the creation of the first “smart street”.
The tiles are outfitted with small sensors that can store data about users in real time. When correctly analysed, that data can provide a better understanding of citizens’ needs and improve how spaces are managed, such as in very busy areas or during peak hours.