We’ve seen clothing that doubles as something else a few times before, such as the drone-evading stealth hoodie revealed back in January, and the GPS-trackable line of wearables announced way back in 2006. The latest to surface comes from a team composed of students, a creative agency, and a fashion designer, all of whom worked together to assemble a wardrobe called Wearable Solar.
Wearable Solar is a line of clothing that harbors embedded solar panels wired to allow for personal device charging. As such, one can plug their smartphone in and allow it to charge while they walk around the park or do their daily shopping. Thus far there are two prototypes, one being a dress and the other being a coat.
The solar panels are attached to the clothing as “flaps,” which can be adjusted or even hidden, depending on how the user wants to wear it. Of course, the downside to gaining mobile personal charging powers is looking like a character out of a Star Trek universe, at least if the clothing piece featured above is anything to go by.
The work was done by students at the University of Applied Sciences in Nijmegen, while the designing was done by fasion designer Pauline van Dongen and the entire project was led by agency Gelderland Valoriseert’s Christiaan Holland. The material isn’t lightweight, however, and for many climates this would be winter-only apparel, perhaps negating the sun-harnessing aspect of the idea behind it.
Said van Dongen: “The coat contains fairly rigid solar cells, which is why I used a combination of wool and leather. These materials both provide the strength needed and are aesthetically pleasing. In total some 48 solar cells are incorporated into modular leather panels, allowing a typical smartphone to be 50 percent charged if worn in the full sun for an hour.”