I wrote about the need for innovation in the carpet business in my column (Idealog #6, in stores now). One idea that occurred to me was harnessing the kinetic energy from walking on the carpet to power household appliances. Just a random thought. Maybe not. Turns out that there is a design group in the Netherlands that has been contemplating the same idea—or rather a similar one.
This month a night club opened in Rotterdam that features an energy generating floor. Shock absorbers under the boards harness the energy created from compression to power the lights. Could carpet underlay use the same technology? (Maybe throw in a little static current as well.)