If you are always forgetting to charge your wireless headphones, help may finally be on the way. Now that the first solar-powered headphones are on sale, this makes sense. Solar panels are built into the headbands of both models. The Swedish company Urbanista and the German sports company Adidas made the models.
Which company came up with the new technology?
In each case, another Swedish company, Exeger, makes flexible panels. Over the past ten years, they have worked to make them light, thin, and powerful enough to do the job. Giovanni Fili, the boss of Exeger, says that it is both convenient and, more importantly, the right thing to do for the environment.
“Everyone hates billing,” he says. “But every time you don’t charge with mains electricity, the world benefits. “The young adults of today expect to be given tools to help the environment, and that’s what we’re doing.”
A glimpse of the solar-powered headphones
Powerfoyle is the name of Exeger’s solar panels, and they are only 1.3mm thick. The technology is based on titanium dioxide strips with a natural dye. In straightforward terms, the paint takes in light particles called photons, which are then changed into particles called electrons.
Both Adidas and Urbanista now make solar-powered headphones. Even though titanium dioxide solar panels are about half as efficient as silicon-based panels of the same size in full sun, they are much easier and cheaper to make and are much thinner.
What was remarked on by Mr. Fili?
The solar-powered headphones still have an internal battery that can keep them running for up to 80 hours. The Powerfoyle strip charges for this. Mr. Fili says the technology can now make enough power for one hour “from just 20 minutes of English or Swedish summer sunshine.”
The panels can also get power from artificial light, like indoor lighting. However, the headphones should always be charging unless it’s in the middle of the night. And the headphones still have a power plug in case you need a backup power source after a lot of use.
Mr. Fili says solar panels probably won’t be added to cell phones any time soon because so many of us keep our phones in our pockets, where they can’t get light. Instead, he thinks the panels could be put on people’s clothes and bags and used to charge their phones.
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