Outdoor music festivals often mean frying in the hot sun and accidentally getting separated from your friends. Thankfully they’re only a text away, unless your phone is dead. (How’d people survive Woodstock?) But if you could just plug your phone into your shirt when it’s out of juice, that would never be a problem!
That was the inspiration for Christiaan Holland, a Dutch professor who teamed up with fashion designer Pauline van Dongen and solar expert Gert Jan Jongerden to create Wearable Solar. The fashion line debuted in London at the Wearable Futures conference, and an hour of sunlight will apparently charge your phone halfway. Unfortunately, the clothes are — how do we say this nicely? — really ugly:
(Seriously, can you imagine wearing that to an outdoor music festival? Maybe Kraftwerk.)
Part of the problem is the two outfits can show or hide their solar panels, making the wearer an unintentional Transformer. Rather than the “more than meets the eye” philosophy, maybe wearable solar should just look good with the panels front and center. After all, nobody complained about the solar panel bikini, right?