Here we have another product where I can’t decide if it’s brilliant or quite simply disturbing. Maybe it’s because of my Irish complexion which causes me to avoid direct sunlight like the plague, but I have to wonder about anyone who spends so much time out in the sun while wearing a bikini that the battery runs out on her iPod or phone.

Regardless, this is how it works. Each bikini boasts 40 1 x 4-inch (25.4 x 101.6 mm) thin and flexible photovoltaic strips connected by conductive thread, which ends at a USB port via a 5V DC terminator. Each strip is hand-stitched to the base material of the suit. Apparently, the output is comparable to that of a laptop, as is the length of time it takes to charge a phone or MP3 player.

Since no energy is physically stored in the bikini, it is safe to swim while wearing it, although it is not recommended that you charge a device while swimming. Which only seems like common sense to me…if you swim with your phone you’ll kill it almost immediately anyway. After getting the suit wet, you do need to let it dry completely before attempting to charge anything or it won’t work properly.

These are currently available on a very limited custom-order basis. Price varies depending on several factors such as the design of the bikini, but pricing will start at around $500 to $1500 US for each one and go up from there. That means this might be a neat idea, but it’s probably going to be easier (and cheaper!) to just charge your devices the old-fashioned way.

Source: Gizmag

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