If you had a likeness towards wearable technology then Tommy Hilfiger’s solar jacket may tickle your curiosity. The clothing brand Tommy Hilfiger have partnered with the flexible solar panel manufacturer Pvilion to produce the solar jacket for the holiday season. The jacket is available in men’s and women’s styles.
The concept behind the solar jacket
The jacket contains strips of solar panels weighing around four pounds in total on the back side. The solar panels can charge the portable battery that is connected to a concealed cord in the pocket. The completely charged in-built battery is claimed to provide 4 complete charges for a 1500mAh battery device, so I guess the battery pack is of 6000mAh capacity. The charged battery can be used to charge any portable device.
The cool thing about the solar panel is that it’s flexible, waterproof and is removable from the jacket. Since the panels are detachable from the jacket, the jacket can be washed at one’s will. You can carry the solar panels effortlessly on the back side of the jacket and charge your devices with the constant exposure of the panels to sunlight.
Even though the jacket has a great concept of portable charging, it misses on two important things-
- The solar panels need to be facing the sun to charge the battery. For the best exposure the panels need to face the sun rays orthogonally. Which means that the only time when the solar panels will charge substantially is when you lie down on your stomach. I don’t see why someone would lie down on a freezing winter ice(the jacket is designed for the winter season).
- Secondly, the jacket could have been designed to camouflage the panels. At the first glimpse of the jacket you’ll find that the solar panels are screaming “We’re right here”.
Grab your solar jacket
This limited edition solar jacket is currently available in the Tommy Hilfiger stores across Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia, and also online at tommy.com.
But I have to warn you, if you decide you buy the jacket it’s going to put a hole in your pocket worth $599.00. Yeah that’s steep for a jacket. But to ease your guilt, you should know that half of the price you pay would go to “The Fresh Air Fund “ a program to support New York City boys to attend summer camps.
If you were to make a solar jacket on your own similar to this jacket, it will cost you $70 for a good 14W solar charger(you would need to sew it to your jacket though), $25 for a 6000mAh battery and for the jacket you name the price. That would be a total of not more than $200. Yes, you pay $400 extra for Tommy’s brand on your jacket.
I think when it comes to solar panels, the conversion efficiency needs to be much higher than what it’s today before they make their way into wearable devices. Do you personally love solar wearable devices? Let me know of your opinion in the comment section below.All images in this article are a property of Tommy Hilfiger.