Nowadays, modernity has gone so evident that even clothing is already made to do more than just protecting wearers from elements or representing fashion statements. One such gadget is the Wearable Solar by Pauline van Dongen.
This is a potential clothing line which aims to incorporate solar panels into clothing garments, thus giving them the capacity to charge small electronic devices such as smartphones. The project is being led by Dutch creative agent Christian Holland, designer Pauline van Dongen and solar panel expert Gertjan Jongerden along with students from University of Applied Sciences in Nijmegen, Netherlands.
Two prototypes in the form of a coat and a dress have been created. According to Van Dongen, she has been researching the layer structure of human skin cells and have been translating her findings into her product designs. For instance, she designed the coat to come with solar cell flaps on the shoulder and waist. These can be unfolded whenever there’s sun shining. Alternatively, they can also be folded away and worn invisibly.
The Materials: Wool and Leather
The solar cells in the coat are fairly rigid. Such is why Van Dongen decided to use the combination of leather and wool to complete the wardrobe. These materials do not only provide the strength necessary for support but are also aesthetically pleasing. 48 solar cells have been incorporated into the modular leather panels. This will allow a standard smartphone to get charged up to 50 percent for one hour under the sun.
For the solar dress, Van Dongen used more a flexible type of solar cells.
They are not as efficient as those of the coat but are more comfortable and are easier to incorporate. The cells are integrated very subtly, making them hardly noticeable.
Out of A Movie?
A quick tip though: Van Dongen’s designs are a little too modern for today’s fashion taste. Expect to feel like a character from Mortal Kombat or the Matrix when sporting the designs. But for those confident enough, this line is definitely a battery life saver!