Two incredible projects which are being showcased in London last week at Wearable Futures conference and expo are a solar powered mobile phone charger and a surveillance detecting device. Exciting. I know. The potential for both these projects to transform how we interact with our environment is almost unimaginable.
The solar powered mobile phone charger has been developed by designer Pauline van Dongen in with Christiaan Holland from the HAN University of Applied Sciences and solar energy expert Gert Jan Jongerden on the Wearable Solar project. Together they have developed a dress which is able to use and convert energy from the sun to power a mobile device. According to Dezeen the dress has 72 flexible cells attached to the panels on the front of the garment.
These can then be folded outwards to capture sunlight48 rigid crystal solar panels are incorporated into leather flaps on the jacket’s shoulders and waist so they can be revealed when the sun shines and hidden when not in use. A standard charging plug connects the solar panels directly to a mobile device. According to Van Dongen a garment exposed to direct sunlight for one hour could capture enough energy to charge an average smartphone to 50 percent capacity.
Lisa Kori Chung and Caitlin Morris from Fabrica designed the anti-NIS (neuroimaging surveillance) pieces to detect when surveillance technology linked to CCTV cameras is trying to read the wearer’s brainwaves. The device then redirects their thoughts to something inconsequential to help maintain privacy. The team has developed a range of devices which is able to do this. Surveillance and privacy are issues which we need to address and not become complacent about.
“Rather than simply blocking access to the brain, which would require unsubtle and complex equipment, each piece proposes a method of momentary cognitive diversion,” said the designers.
What is so fascinating about both these extremely beautifully developed projects is the impact that they could have on the average person, on our daily lives.