Energy from your feet: When sidewalks and dance floors become energy sources

TED Blog

The average person takes about 150 million steps in a lifetime. What if we could turn all that movement into energy? Two innovators are working on it — including a TED@London speaker. While one has built a system to capture the energy of foot traffic, the other is harnessing the power of smooth dance moves.

Mashable directs our attention to Energy Floors, a groovy company based in Rotterdam that has used dancefloor power to create more than 8 billion joules of electricity so far. In 2008, the team created Club WATT — an ecological dance club with flooring tile that harnesses the ecstatic movements of dancers, converting kinetic energy to actual electricity. Their first big idea: Launch a network of sustainable dance clubs with glowing, interactive floors, while simultaneously launching a line of floor tiles called Sustainable Dance Floor. But as CEO Michel Smit tells the TED Blog, that…

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Startup Gridcom uses photons and quantum physics for smart grid security


Cyber security has emerged as something that almost all power grid companies worry about and invest in, and entrepreneurs and startups are innovating to deliver new types of security solutions for the power grid. For example, an under the radar company called GridCOM Technologies tells us it’s developing a new tool based on quantum physics that could protect the grid from such digital security attacks.

Founded only last year, GridCOM’s technology uses something called quantum cryptography to generate codes using photons (tiny packets of light) that shield communications among a network of electronic equipment from the computers that control power transmission to smart meters. Quantum cryptography uses physics (instead of math like conventional encryption does) to secure cyber communications.

GridGridCOM’s approach is quite different from the conventional mathematically-based encryption methods traditional used to protect communications over the Internet, said Duncan Earl, co-founder and CTO of GridCOM and a former researcher…

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