Solar-Powered Swimsuit Can I Plug My iPod into Your Bathing Suit?

It's just what the world needed. Now, there's a solar-powered swimsuit, making it a snap to recharge your iPod right on the beach -- and reduce your carbon footprint while you sunbathe.

First came the Clapper, which allowed a generation of the lazy to turn on lights and radios all over the house from the comfort of their easy chairs. Then there was the Flowbee, which vacuums up your hair while giving you "professional hairstyling results." And let's not forget the self-twirling spaghetti fork.

But now, there's an invention that may trump all of the above in sheer pointlessness. German lingerie producer Triumph has come up with, of all things, a solar-powered bathing suit. The rather awkward-looking one-piece garment comes complete with photovoltaic cells to capture energy from the sun. What to do with that energy, you might ask? It's perfect, the company assures its potential customers, for recharging your phone or iPod while lying on the beach.

The unflattering get-up was produced in conjunction with the Hamburg-based renewable energy company Conergy and, perhaps appropriately, presented by Spanish synchronized swimming star Gemma Mengual in Valencia earlier this week. The Solar Swimsuit, on a nice sunny day, has an output of four watts, and the plug-in is integrated into the suit.

What's more, according to a company spokeswoman, "you can even go into the water with it." However she explained that "it takes a while after bathing before the solar cells start working again. You have to lie in the sun for 10 minutes or so."

The company won't say how much the suit will end up costing or even when it might go into production. But, the spokeswoman said, there has been enormous interest in the suit. Then again, even the Flowbee has its fans.



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