Wearable technology is becoming more prevalent in everyday life, from SmartWatches to SmartBra’s it is everywhere. As fashion and technology blend, we see the industry continue to evolve,with one designer continuing to push the boundaries of what can be achieved in wearable technology.
Pauline Van Dongen graduated from ArtEZ, Academy of the Arts in Arnhem, the Netherlands and started her own Womenswear label in 2010. She researches high-tech materials to combine new and traditional techniques to breath life into her designs and enable interaction with the wearer.
In 2013 Pauline Van Dongen’s first experiment with wearable solar technology began, by creating a dress and coat prototypes comprising of solar cells which could be revealed when the sun shines or folded away when they were not needed. The coat incorporated 48 rigid solar cells and the dress 72 flexible solar cells, that could charge a smartphone to around 50%. The Solar Shirt is the latest project in Pauline Van Dongen’s Wearable Solar collection, and shows how far she has come in developing this technology further.
The Solar Shirt debuted at this years FashionTech Berlin conference, the perfect place for niche designers in the FashionTech field to showcase their ideas. In collaboration with Holst Centre, the shirt has been developed and designed to charge a smartphone or any other USB compatible device.
It incorporates 120 thin film solar cells using Holst Centre’s stretchable interconnect technology for integrating electronics into fabrics.
The shirt is made out of a double-knit fabric constructed from one piece of fabric, allowing the solar panels to be laminated before the shirt is constructed. The design of the solar modules has been carefully considered, turning the circuitry into a feature of the design. On a typical sunny day the shirt can produce around 1W of electricity, more than enough to charge a smartphone. The shirt’s battery pack is inconspicuously located in the front pocket and can store electricity for later use.
Now you can look good and reduce your energy consumption, simply by putting on a shirt and harnessing the power of nature.
To learn more about the Wearable Solar project please visit Pauline Van Dongen.
Photo Credit: Liselotte Fleur