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Tuesday June 21, 2011 1:30 pm

Orange Sound Charge shirt charges your phone using sound waves

Phones can run out of juice at the worst times. Orange, a French telecom giant, has been working on a shirt that can convert sound waves into electrical energy.

The shirt, dubbed Sound Charge, is a charging dock for mobile phones. According to the press release, the shirt works by "reversing the use of a product called piezoelectric film".

Piezoelectricity produces electricity from pressure. The shirt uses an "A4 panel of the modified film" to absorb sound waves which are then converted into an electrical charge "via the compression of interlaced quartz crystals." That charge is then fed to a reservoir battery which transfers the charge to the phone.

The shirt was developed in time for the Glastonbury festival this week. Orange will be conducting live tests of the shirt during the musical performances to help determine which bands "are the best to charge to".

Orange's previous eco-friendly charging endeavor came in the form of Power Wellies at last year's Glastonbury festival. These are boots that convert heat energy into electricity, otherwise known as the Seebeck effect. Heat generated from the user's feet is converted into electrical energy which charges the phone.

After a day of walking around festival grounds, the user could plug his phone into the boots and charge it for about an hour. The Sound Charge shirt marks a departure from this in that Orange estimates it could generate about six watt-hours, enough to charge two mobile phones.

All of the electronic parts are removable so that the shirt can be washed. The Orange Sound Charge is not yet available for purchase, but here's a video about the shirt.

This article, written by Julius Motal, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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