As convenient as wireless devices are it is always a task to remember to charge them. Adidas and the Swedish firm Urbanista have come up with a solution for this plight as they both have launched solar panels built into the headbands of their headphones.
These small, lightweight, flexible panels are built by another Swedish company, Exeger.
Exeger’s head, Giovanni Fili said, “Charging – everyone hates it. But every time you don’t charge [using main electricity] it is a good thing for the world. The new generation of young adults expects to be offered the tools to do good [for the environment], and that is what we are offering.”
The solar panels are called Powerfoyle and they are only 1.3 mm thick.
Powerfoyle’s panels are only half as efficient as the standard silicon-based solar panels.
There is a battery in the solar-powered headphones, that is charged from the solar panels, and gets up to 80 hours of playback time.
They can also create energy light, such as indoor lighting which means the headphones are charging constantly.
There is still a power port in case there is heavy usage and backup power is necessary.
There have been other developments too. The Finnish company Plano is making fabrics with integrated solar paneling.
That firm is led by Elina Ilén, who is a professor at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia’s Department of Textile and Paper Engineering. She is a leading expert on wearable textile electronics.
“Although these solar cells do produce enough energy to power wearable devices, placing a solar cell behind a textile will never have the same efficiency of harvesting energy as a solar cell in direct sunlight,” said Ms Ilén in a statement.
Another example of wearable energy-producing devices and garments is static electricity being studied as a form of power generation.