Open-air concerts are always a challenge for phone users, with thousands of users overloading countryside mobile masts (more used to talking to an occasional sheep) and only a couple of power points between them. Orange is aiming at this captive market with Power Wellies, setting to solve two problems at opposite ends of the technological spectrum:
- An absence of electrical sockets
- An abundance of mud
The “Power Wellies” pack arrays of compact thermocouples between thin layers of ceramic to form a thermopile-sole, a system which generates electricity if there’s a temperature difference between the two sides. Your sweaty foot acts as the heat-generation station, while the cold (and presumably rained-upon) mud is the other end. At the end of each day you can connect your phone to the batteries in the welly and extract up to an hour’s talk time for each twelve you spend stepping. That might not sound like much, but it’s perfect for touching base with people at the end of the day, and if you’re spending longer than that on your cell you should have given your concert ticket to someone else.
Orange will be selling the Power Wellies from their “Chill n Charge” area at Glastonbury this year.