Pauline van Dongen/Vimeo

This "Wearable Solar" clothing allegedly can restore half of a phone's power when worn in bright sunlight.

They may be riddled with clunky panels and weirdly aggressive shoulder guards, but these high-tech togs will keep a phone juiced up way past the time it normally loses a charge. That is assuming it's sunny outside – if the cloud cover is thick, then you're just looking like Batman for no good reason.

The "Wearable Solar" coat shown below is one of two photovoltaic-loaded civvies (the other's a sleeveless dress) developed by Dutch innovation-funding firm Gelderland Valoriseert and Pauline van Dongen, whose neo-clothing line also includes 3-D printed shoes and vestments that look like erosion. The jet-black accoutrements are equipped with panels and sleeves sheltering up to 48 removable solar cells; when worn out in bright daylight, the makers of "Wearable Solar" claim, the items can restore up to half of a phone's battery life in one hour.

Turning humans into their snazzy, walking energy generators was initially an idea aimed at attendees of large music festivals, who rely on phones to locate roaming friends and tucked-away stages. But van Dongen thinks that solar-powered raiments could find a wider audience in the future, telling the Dutch site Design.nl (head there for good photos of the clothes):

I am convinced that this could lead to a product that can be marketed on a big scale, largely because of the growing role played by connectivity in our current society and because of the enormous potential that solar energy has to offer. It is the biggest source of energy on earth and it’s important that people realize its value....

I think that science, biology and for instance nano technology will have a huge impact on future developments within fashion.

Aside from power cells, these renewable-energy body shells are fabricated from a pleasing and hard-to-rip mixture of wool and leather. There's no word on how hot it might get inside them, but if it's too sweaty the solution shouldn't be hard to find – just stick in some ventilation fans that run off the solar panels.

Here's the designer and associates explaining a bit more about how the clothes work. They're now working on pushing out versions for the commercial market:

(H/t to Mocoloco)

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. an aerial view of Los Angeles shows the complex of freeways, new construction, familiar landmarks, and smog in 1962.
    Transportation

    The Problem With Amazon’s Cheap Gas Stunt

    The company promoted its TV show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel with a day of throwback 1959-style prices in Los Angeles. What could go wrong?

  2. an illustration depicting a map of the Rio Grande river
    Maps

    Between Texas and Mexico, a Restless Border Defies the Map

    In El Paso, we call it the Rio Grande; our neighbors in Juárez know it as Río Bravo. It’s supposed to be a national border, but the river had its own ideas.

  3. a photo of the L.A. Metro Expo Line extension
    Life

    Why Can’t I Take Public Transit to the Beach?

    In the U.S., getting to the beach usually means driving. But some sandy shores can still be reached by train, subway, and bus.

  4. Warren Logan
    Transportation

    A City Planner Makes a Case for Rethinking Public Consultation

    Warren Logan, a Bay Area transportation planner, has new ideas about how to truly engage diverse communities in city planning. Hint: It starts with listening.

  5. a photo of the Eiffel Tower with the words "Made for Sharing" projected on it
    Life

    How France Tries to Keep English Out of Public Life

    France has a long history of using official institutions to protect the French language from outside influence. Still, English keeps working its way in.

×