Once in a while, we come across some pretty cool stuff that turns out to be cooler than it sounds. So how about a T-shirt that allows you to charge your iPhone or iPod Touch while on the go? Well, the idea itself sounds cool and in certain situations could be practical, why not? But how about a T-shirt that charges your device by converting sound energy into electrical energy? Now that is some impressive technology right there.
This is what exactly UK based Telecommunications company Orange has been working on. The name of the T-shirt in question is Orange Sound Charge and it is currently a working prototype. As stated, this T-shirt allows you to charge your iPhone or iPod Touch while on the go. The T-shirt runs on a revolutionary mobile charging technology that powers the device with the use of sound energy. As Orange explains:
Following months of planning and development, the prototype, named the Orange ‘Sound Charge’ has been produced in conjunction with renewable energy experts at GotWind. The eco charging device uses an existing technology in a revolutionary way; by reversing the use of a product called Piezoelectric film, allowing people to charge their mobile phones whilst enjoying their favourite headline act at Glastonbury.
Usually found in modern hi-fi speakers, an A4 panel of the modified film is housed inside a t-shirt which then acts much like an oversized microphone by ‘absorbing’ invisible sound pressure waves. These sound waves are converted via the compression of interlaced quartz crystals into an electrical charge, which is fed into an integral reservoir battery that in turn charges most makes and models of mobile phone. As the ‘device’ is worn, a steady charge is able to be dispensed into the phone via a simple interchangeable lead which fits most handsets.
Admittedly, the technology behind this T-shirt charger is indeed impressive and revolutionary. But based on what we can see on this prototype, there are two factors that could seriously hamper any hopes of Orange to sell these T-shirts.
- Reason One. Probably the most obvious factor that would alienate potential buyers. Well, just look at it. Unless public humiliation is your thing, it is highly unlikely that one would buy a T-shirt that showcases your iPhone and a big white patch at the front. If you can't wear this on public, what else could you use it for?
- Reason Two. In order for your iPhone or iPod to start charging, you will need a sound level of approximately 80db which creates about 6 watts of electrical energy, 5 watts should be enough for you to get charging. Now this could depend on the neighborhood that you live in. 80db is about roughly equivalent to a busy street.
But of course, we have to take into consideration that this is merely a prototype build and by the time this officially goes on sale, we should be seeing a entirely different product especially in terms of looks. Here is a video of the T-shirt in action and the explains the technology behind it:
The Orange Sound Charge is available for testing at this year's Glastonbury Festival.Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback