Every year, some inventor somewhere comes up with an invention that makes the world take notice. News outlets wait in line for interviews from the inventors; venture capitalists offer millions of dollars to be a part of the marketing boom; and consumers hand over their credit card numbers all for the chance to own the coolest gadget of the year.
Well, this year is no different. Today, I read about an invention so worthwhile, so beneficial to mankind that it deserves all the accolades and attention it attracts. It goes beyond the ShamWow and the Reacher–that long pole with the claw at the end that helps old people get items from top shelves. It is a product that combines technology with style; it is the Solar Bikini.
All the rage in beachwear, the Solar Bikini is “a custom made bikini swimsuit retrofitted with 1″ x 4″ photovoltaic film strips sewn together in series with conductive thread. The cells terminate in a 5 volt regulator into a female USB connection” So what does all this techno-talk mean? Your bikini can charge an IPod! How many times have we forgotten to charge our iPods and found ourselves without music on the beach? I am unsure if it can charge cell phones, or Kindles or other “personal” electronics but it’s nice to know that technology has come through to make sure we are never without our favorite tunes. Okay, there are some downsides: the person in the bikini can’t get wet. Apparently, electricity and water is a bad combo and the wearer of the bikini can wind up with an electrical shock in all the wrong places and probably, not to be crude, but permanent headlights.
So, how would one stay cool at the beach wearing this suit, if one cannot get wet? Well, the inventors of the Solar Bikini have thought ahead and come up with a male version which contains a beer cozy inside the suit. The iDrink, the male solar suit, includes a larger surface area which allows more voltage which can cool a single beer in the custom cozy. Voltage imbedded in a man’s bathing suit? Hm. What else can the voltage bring alive in that suit?
I admit that the Solar Bikini sounds like a good idea, but I am unsure as to where one plugs in the iPod. Being that the swimsuit is a bikini, the point of charging has to be in the bra or the bottoms and neither sound “comfortable”, but I could be wrong. Just a thought, but wouldn’t it have been better if the company who makes the electrically charged swimwear made a Solar Hat instead. This way, the hat can come off if someone wanted to get wet and sensitive body parts would not be in the way of the voltage. Okay, not a hat person, how about a solar beach bag? There is already a beach towel on the market that contains stereo speakers that play an iPod or tunes through an iPhone, but I don’t know if it charges any of these devices. Maybe the bikini people and the towel people can get together and make one product that does all thus eliminating the need for a person to be his or her own power source. I think this would be a worthwhile joint venture.
I bet the Solar Bikini sells. I think the people who think technology is sexy will go for this product because nothing is hotter than a body that can jumpstart dead objects. I am not sure about the beer cozy because I have questions about safety. Couldn’t this product lead to some horrible accidents if the beer spills inside the suit? If you can’t go swimming in the bathing trunks because of the danger of electrocution, wouldn’t liquids in near proximity of sensitive body parts cause a really bad power outage?
While I recognize the ingenuity that went into the Solar Bikini, I have to wonder about the motives of the inventors. Is it really about iPod convenience or is there something diabolical at the core of this invention? Either way, If I go to the beach this summer and run across someone flopping on the sand like a dying fish, I will definitely wonder if they were careless with their solar beachwear.