Ready to hit the beach? Brooklyn-based designer Andrew Schneider is now taking orders for his solar-powered bikini. Capable of charging your cellphone or MP3 player, the high-tech swimsuit comprises thin, flexible photovoltaic film strips and USB connectors, woven together with conductive thread. Each bikini, coming in at just under $200, is entirely hand-stitched, requiring an average of 80 hours to make. No need to worry about your iPod running out of juice; the solar bikini will charge your favorite gadgets while you soak up the rays.
Surprisingly, the solar bikini doesn’t hinder your swimming opportunities. You can still jump in for a dip to cool off—as long as you remember to unplug your devices and dry out the USB ports before you connect anything else. Because the bikini transmits its power directly to your electronics, no actual energy is stored. “[It’s] totally safe,” Schneider tells Daily Mail. “Five volts at under an amp is a charge you wouldn’t even be able to feel.”
Because the bikini transmits its power directly to your electronics, no actual energy is stored.
For the gents, Schneider is working on a pair of trunks that chills beer. (A solid-state heat pump known as a Peltier junction acts as a cooling device.) Not that women can’t enjoy a cold brew: The “iDrink” features a larger surface area, so Schneider was able to squeeze a higher output voltage. “You’ve got tunes, you’ve got beer, you’ve got sun, and you’ve got each other in swimwear,” he says of his eventual line. “The rest is up to you.”