MOBILE OPERATOR Orange has announced its Sound Charge T-shirt that can charge a mobile phone using sound, which it will put on trial at the Glastonbury music festival.
The 'Sound of 71' stage at this weeks event is where Orange will test prototypes of the Sound Charge T-shirts to see which acts give the best charge. The T-shirts have a special front panel to harvest sound, which it then coverts into electrical energy to charge a phone.
Andrew Pearcey, head of sponsorship at Orange said, "In a vibrant festival environment such as Glastonbury, sound is such an obvious medium that it seemed like a natural fit to use it in the development of this year's prototype."
Orange will be testing three T-shirts and putting them on show but unfortunately music lovers at the gigs won't be able to try the eco gadget out for themselves.
The A4 sized panel on the front of the shirt is made of piezoelectric film, as is usually found in hi-fi speakers. This acts like an oversized microphone so when sound waves hit it the pressure is converted into electrical charge.
The charge is fed into a reservoir battery that is able to charge various phones by using interchangeable leads. All the electrical parts are fully removable so you can still wash the garment after a grubby festival weekend.
Apparently about 80dB of sound will be experienced during a music set, which the shirt will be able to change into 6W of electricty. This is enough to charge a smartphone over the course of the weekend.
We think the idea is pretty cool, especially for music lovers, but the design will be even better if the technology is hidden away. Maybe it can be used in the home as a charging method, possibly using sound from your TV or music system. µ