Charge your cell phone by connecting it to your… shirt?

Harnessing solar power has come a long way in a short amount of time. Countries like Germany have revolutionized the way people receive and pay for electricity (almost over night). And while many countries and companies are still playing catch by trying to figure out how to make renewable energy accessible to the average homeowner, some researchers are already thinking beyond that. Scientists at Penn State say solar technology can be theoretically adapted to fit on clothing.

“Long, fiber-based solar cells give us the potential to do something we couldn’t really do before: We can take the silicon fibers and weave them together into a fabric with a wide range of applications such as power generation, battery charging, chemical sensing and biomedical devices,” said Penn State chemistry Professor John Badding.

Imagine a world where clothes could be conduits for electricity, where all you have to do is sit in the sun to surf the internet or stream TV shows. Naturally, the ability to turn a person into a portable power source has many entities intrigued, including the military.

But if this technology is developed for mass consumer use, will we all be moving to sunnier parts of the world? Will this create a new strain on the environment for other natural resources? Something to think about.


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