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Alex Smith, Mike Geier & Tejas Shastry

“The average active person generates enough energy from everyday motion to power a smartphone for three hours” Alex Smith, Mike Geier & Tejas Shastry – co-founders, AMPY

Published in Sports Management 2015 issue 2
AMPY launched on Kickstarter and has since raised over US$300k in funding
AMPY launched on Kickstarter and has since raised over US$300k in funding

Tell us about yourselves
We – the three co-founders of AMPY – met during our PhDs in engineering at Northwestern University, US. We wanted to solve a problem we all had: our smartphones dying at the most inconvenient times. We all depend so much on our mobile devices, but we still have no convenient way of making sure they don’t run out of power.

Since we were active people, we wondered if we could capture some of the energy from our daily activities and use it to power our phones. We all had experience in clean tech start-ups focused on solar, fuel cell and battery technologies. Putting together our shared knowledge of energy harvesting, we came up with the technology advances for AMPY.

So what is AMPY?
AMPY is a wearable motion charger that captures energy from your movements and stores it. You can then use that energy to power your smartphone or any other USB-powered device: the average active person generates enough energy from everyday motion to power a smartphone for three hours. Inside of AMPY are our proprietary inductors, which couple to your motion and generate electricity that’s stored in a battery inside. When you need it the most, you simply plug in your device to charge it from the energy stored.

But it’s a dual mode charger too, meaning you can charge it either from your movement – which can offset the carbon footprint of your smartphone – or from the socket on the wall.

At what stage of its development is AMPY?
Over the last two years, we’ve prototyped AMPY and tested it with pilot users to make sure it’s easy to wear and fits in your life.

Last autumn, we brought AMPY to the world by launching a Kickstarter campaign, where we raised over US$300,000. Since then, we’ve been scaling up our manufacturing to get AMPY to customers by summer of 2015.

Any plans to further develop AMPY?
We hope to not only scale and deliver the charger to our customers, but also to integrate our technology directly into wearable devices and power them. We envision self-charging smartwatches, fitness trackers and other crazy wearables!


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