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Solar Powered Clothing: The Future of Mobile Charging, 2 Years Out?

Mar 21 2011, 2:09pm CDT | by , in News | Technology News

Solar Powered Clothing: The Future of Mobile Charging, 2 Years Out?
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UK Military on the verge of Awesome.

If all the robot soldiers and tablet computers weren't enough of a clue, we're in the future. Everything has Bluetooth, WiFi signals dot each far flung corner of the globe and there are cameras galore. And there you are, still wearing your boring old lame person clothes like a chump. What does your shirt do, aside from keep you warm? When was the last time your pants held their own weight?

The UK Armed Forces are developing a line of solar-powered uniforms capable of charging all the various gadgets a soldier needs to carry in the field. The stated military purpose of these suits is to reduce weight by eliminating batteries. Soldiers will be able to roam further, longer, thanks to photovoltaic cells woven into their camo.

Supposedly, this technology is about two years out from practical use. It won't take long for something like this to hit the civilian market. Early adopters and survival nuts will be the first wave of buyers, but solar clothing is too ideal for our mobile lifestyle to stay out of the mainstream for long. Combined with existing inductive charging technology, this could revolutionize the way we think about batteries.

The potential here, is for clothing that delivers a constant charge to any device placed in its pockets. Your shirt and pants gather energy from the sun and use it to keep you texting and tweeting. The tech savvy will cause less strain on our power grid, and manufacturers will have more freedom to stick cool gizmos in our toys. Smaller batteries equals thinner gadgets with more features. Everybody wins.

Even those of you who live in sunless parts of the world, like Oregon. These solar uniforms are capable of charging via thermoelectric energy. Which will keep them charging at night, or when cloud cover blocks the sun from conventional solar panels.

Hop to it, military industrial complex. I'm bored of my old clothes now.

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