A team of Canadian and American researchers have created a brace that extracts kinetic power wasted from your knee while you're walking:
Six volunteers walking on a treadmill at a sedate 2.2mph and wearing a brace on each leg were found to be able to generate 5 watts of electrical power - enough for ten mobile phones simultaneously - without needing to break into a sweat.
Not only can this be a boon for areas of the world where access to wall outlet isn't that convenient, it can also be used in conjunction with MP3 players to ensure that you keep your pace of walking above a certain level.
"For those seeking exercise that keeps their heart rate up so that it's really working the cardiovascular system," said Dr. Kevin Phillips-Bong, "we've interfaced with an iPod. If you stay above the set rate, music plays fine. If not, it switches to a playlist of all Cher. Not even old school Cher. We're talking modern vocoder-happy Cher here."
Research into this last idea has been stalled as using Cher's music on humans is considered inhumane. Scientific watchdog groups worry that experiments using Cher's music could be taking place in other countries, however, where laws are less strict. More on this as it becomes available.