Elektor Team

Sound Charge t-shirt @ Glastonbury festival

December 10, 2013 | 14:37
Sound Charge t-shirt @ Glastonbury festival
Sound Charge t-shirt @ Glastonbury festival

Visitors to the UK's best-known music festival traditionally experience three things -- mud, loud music and a dead mobile device battery. This year, new green charging technology was introduced. Previous projects have included a Power Pump and last year's Orange Power Wellies, and the latest charger is no less impressive. As the name may indicate, the Sound Charge t-shirt turns sound waves into electric charge, allowing the wearer to top up a device battery while thrashing around in the mosh pit.


Produced in partnership with renewable energy designers GotWind, the Sound Charge t-shirt prototype's modified A4-sized panel of Piezoelectric film at the front is said to act like an oversized microphone, absorbing sound waves and converting them via the compression of interlaced quartz crystals into an electrical charge. This is then fed into a small external reservoir battery (with visuals that pulse in time with the music) and the wearer can then pop a mobile phone or smartphone into the pocket above the panel, connect it up to the reservoir and top up the device battery using sound.


The t-shirt was designed to generate up to 6 Wh of power when exposed to sound levels of around 80 dB - that's about the same noise level as a bustling city street and will not pose too much of a problem for Glastonbury Festival-goers. The reservoir hopefully gets enough energy to fully charge two standard mobile phone or one smartphone, although wearers would most likely use it for a quick top up rather than a full charge.


Orange says that an interchangeable cable ensures compatibility with most brands, and the panel and electronics can be removed prior to washing -- an important consideration for those attending a music festival.


The video linked below gives a short developmental overview.




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