Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Solar Bikini - iKini
A New York-based designer has invented a solar-powered bikini so wearers can charge their iPod or camera as they lie in the sun.
Andrew Schneider, 30, sewed together 40 paper-thin photo-voltaic panels together with soft conductive thread to produce his iKini which comes complete with USB ports sewn into the fabric.
Mr Schneider told the International Business Times that he came up with the idea during a brainstorming session at New York University.
"I didn't really have anything exciting so I leaned over to my friend and just jokingly said that I was going to make a bikini that could cool your beer at the beach," he said.
He then decided there was some merit in the idea and started work on developing a prototype - before realising there were an important stumbling block.
"The original bikini didn't have enough surface area to kick out the juice necessary to... cool the beer, so I downgraded to a lower power device. I plugged in my iPod and it worked," he said.
He is now selling the iKinis with prices ranging from £300 to £900 with each one custom-built and tailor-made for the wearer.
The designer now plans to go back to his original idea by developing shorts for men that can keep drinks cold.
"We're currently building and testing prototypes for the iDrink. It's just going to have to have more surface area so we're using men's board shorts," he explained.