Vodafone has developed what could be the future of festival gear with the Electronics and Computer Science Department at the University of Southampton. The Power Pocket, built into Power shorts and the Recharge sleeping bag, will be trialed throughout the festival season.
Professor of Electronic Systems Stephen Beeby and his team have conducted research which has culminated in thermoelectric material that’s so small it can be stitched into a pair of shorts or a sleeping bag. He explains:
Basically, we’re printing down pairs of what are called ‘thermocouples’. You print lots of those down and connect them up to make a thermoelectric module. One side of that is cold and the other is hot, and when you get a flow of heat through it you can create a voltage and a current. Voltage and current together equals electrical power.
This power can be connected to a phone or tablet to charge it up. Eight hours in the Recharge sleeping bag can provide over 20 minutes of talk time and 11 hours of standby time if it is 37 degrees inside, which is human body temperature. A day of walking and dancing in the Power shorts can charge a smartphone for four hours.