May 21, 2009 When it comes to wearable devices that harness the power of the sun, it would seem to make sense that the obvious place for solar panels would be the place that generally gets the most sunlight – namely the top of the head. That might not be desirable for items such as backpacks, jackets or sunglasses, but it’s such a perfect fit for headphones that you wonder why no one has thought of it before. Engineering student Shepeleff Stephen has hit on the obvious with his concept for Bluetooth-enabled headphones that incorporate solar panels into the headband.
The Q-SOUND headphones would not only allow you to listen to music via any Bluetooth-enabled digital audio player, but also would let you take calls on any Bluetooth-enabled cell phone. If your player doesn’t support Bluetooth there is also a 3.5mm jack to allow for a wired connection. The headband is constructed of flexible plastic incorporating amorphous silicon solar cells, while each rubber-based earpiece can be adjusted to fit differently shaped and sized heads.
Two removable NiMH rechargeable batteries, with a capacity of 800mAh and operating voltage of 1.2V, are located within the headband, just above either earpiece, which keep the headphones charged for up to 40 hours. According to Shepeleff, an hour of sunlight should provide more than 2.67 hours of running time for the headphones when operating on maximum volume.
Shepeleff’s futuristic design for the Q-SOUND headphones not only ensures that your music enjoyment is energy-efficient, but also that your projection of detached cool won’t be compromised. Makes us wonder just how long it is before we see something like Shepeleff’s concept crop up in the real world.