Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would create new religions overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television.
Pavegen is a system of tiles created by inventor Laurence Kemball-Cook that generate electricity using energy from footsteps. Depending on the force of the step, each footstep generates between one and seven watts, and the tiles can also be used to track patterns of crowd movement. In September 2013, 24 Pavegen tiles were installed at the Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys outside of London, marking the system’s largest trial run to date. Not only does the system educate kids about environmentally-friendly energy sources, but Pavegen discovered the students also have fun stomping the tiles.