(Pittsburgh, PA) April 3, 2017– SolePower, a Pittsburgh based start up capturing energy from footsteps is partnering with SR Max/Saf-Gard safety shoes to develop self-charging smart work boots that solve compelling problems in safety and operations.
High-risk occupations are constantly seeking strategies to reduce accidents and mitigate risk. Wearable technology is gaining ground, especially for workers in hazardous environments where detecting falls or pinpointing location could save lives. Innovative industry leaders are beginning to apply wearable technology to workplace safety and operations but issues such as battery life remain barriers to wider adoption.
SolePower, SR Max and its sister company Saf-Gard are partnering to develop the first self-charging smart work boot that provides workforces with actionable insights to increase efficiency and reduce accidents. At the core of SolePower’s development is a patented kinetic charger that generates power with every step.
SmartBoots will be one of the first wearables in a growing trend of connected devices designed for the Industrial internet of things. (IIoT) “We embedded our kinetic charger into a work boot and it generated power to run GPS and sensors that detect motion, movement and temperature. As workers move, the system gathers data.” says Hahna Alexander, co-founder and CEO of SolePower. “Our first prototypes were built with SR Max/Saf-Gard. We are thrilled to announce our partnership to develop the self-charging footwear. Insights about movement and location will help workers be safe, fit, and productive.” Hahna continued.
SR Max/Saf-Gard is a Greensboro NC company that manufactures and distributes high quality, high performing slip resistant shoes for workers in a variety of industries including manufacturing, healthcare and food service. SmartBoots integrate their proprietary MaxTrax outsole known and used throughout multiple footwear brands and sold in over 15,000 locations.
“There is a natural partnership between SolePower and SR Max/Saf-Gard. The SolePower system embeds into a boot and has the potential to transform efficiency, safety and sustainability within numerous industries.” Says Patrick Kubis, President of SR Max and Saf-Gard. “The collaboration between these two brands will be about transforming the workplace by collecting data within SmartBoots to drive actionable insights for efficiency, safety, durability and profitability in many environments.”
The connected, self-sustaining SmartBoots have the potential to be valuable in lowering accident rates on work sites, tracking hours on location and determining efficient ways of organizing jobsites. Safety is a top concern, yet the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that over three million workers suffer a workplace injury or illness each year. [ABIH American Board of Industrial Hygiene 2015)
As the technology and infrastructures advance, the case is more compelling for wearables to reduce risk and improve safety of workers. A tracker that alerts workers when they enter a dangerous area or a panic button to notify a supervisor the location of an accident could save lives and mitigate risk. Another benefit of the technology will be to verify location and time data for reporting and compliance. SolePower is conducting user tests and pilots in construction and high-risk industries.
The IIoT market is expected to grow with a double-digit compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to a whopping $124 Billion by 2021. [ Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence Wearable Devices Market]
SolePower is a startup in Pittsburgh, PA, founded in 2012 creating self-sustaining wearables that improve lives. SmartBoots, the first connected industrial work boot will track worker location and movement to automate and simplify workforce management. SolePower kinetic chargers are currently in test with the US Army to lighten soldiers load than hefty power packs. SolePower has two issued patents for kinetic energy harvesting devices that generate power from walking. The founders are members of Forbes 30 Under 30 in Energy. SolePower has been featured twice at the White House for creating technology with a global impact, and selected as a 2017 Toyota Mother of Invention. Investors include Carnegie Mellon University, Innovation Works, and Revolution Investments.
Contact: Cindy Kerr
About SR Max/Saf-Gard
Located in Greensboro, NC, SR Max Slip Resistant Shoes is a company that provides high-quality, high-performing slip resistant shoes. This includes both individual customers as well as companies in a variety of industries including manufacturing, food service, healthcare, grocery and hospitality. SR Max has proven to be an industry leader in slip resistant footwear, leading the pack with its patented MaxTrax™ outsole, which sets a new standard of excellence in slip resistant technology. SR Max sells its footwear by catalog, and in company-owned retail stores and over 15,000 locations.
Contact: Patrick Kubis | CEO | 717.413.4065