The Solar Bikini, designed by Andrew Schneider of Brooklyn, uses the sun to charge Androids, iPhones and any other gadgets with a USB connector.
The suit uses conductive thread and thin photo-voltaic panels, creating a sort of chain-mail fabric that gives the bikini a medieval armor-meets-21st century look.
Covered in flexible PV strips and conductive thread, the two-piece features a 5 Volt USB port by which you can charge a cell phone, an mp3 player or a camera.
Designer Andrew Schneider, and his team, spend 80 hours custom-making each by hand (for $500 and up). He is also developing the iDrink — board shorts for men that will be able to chill a beer — for release this summer.
The iDrink solar swim-ware line is perfect for those who want to go the beach, listen to music, and enjoy a cold and deserved beverage, but who don’t want to get wet! You’ve got tunes, you’ve got beer, you’ve got sun, and you’ve got each other in swimwear. The rest is up to you.
Schneider already has thousands of orders for the Solar Bikini in New York City alone.
The added functionality of the bikini doesn’t impair the function normally afforded by a bathing suit — the ability to swim. You just need to unplug all your devices before jumping in and dry off fully before re-connecting them.
Schneider came up with the idea for the solar-powered bikini while in a graduate sustainability course at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program, which Schneider describes as an engineering school for artists or an art school for engineers.
On the first day, people were brainstorming ideas for sustainable products and because Schneider had none, he joked to his friend that he would make a bikini that could cool a beer at the beach.
Though the skimpiness of a bikini prevents it from having enough surface area to power a chiller, the men’s board shorts will get that part covered.
The suit is a standard medium-sized bikini swimsuit retrofitted with 1″ x 4″ photo-voltaic film strips sewn together in series with conductive thread. The cells terminate in a 5 volt regulator into a female USB connection.