A Tokyo rail company has put footstep-powered generators under its ticket-vending machines; the tread of passengers generates electricity to power the machines. I've always loved the idea of little piezo generators that capture our ambient kinetic energy as we move through the world.
JR East's new experiment consists of energy-generators under ticket wickets, a milliwatt-tracking counter, and 700,000 daily commuters. For the next two months, the railway company will be using using the vibrations of human footsteps at Tokyo Station to generate up to 100 milliwatts per second per person that walks through. The idea is to be able to generate enough electricity to power the wickets themselves and their display panels regularly.Link