June 7, 2011 at 11:59 AM ET
Tired of your MP3 player running out of juice at the beach? Cross that frustration off your list this summer thanks to the Solar Bikini, the high-tech bathing suit that can charge your MP3 player or other small devices while you relax in the sun.
Unfortunately, you can’t exactly pick up this baby in time for a quick getaway this weekend. Each suit needs to be custom ordered, handmade and can take more than 80 hours to create.
The bikini doesn’t weigh anymore than a regular bathing suit even with 40 solar cells attached, although the price tag is heavy: It sells for $500 and $1,500 at SolarCoterie.com.
Designer Andrew Schneider first came up with the idea as a joke -- but it turned into a very real project.
“It was the first day of school and we were going around the table brainstorming ideas for sustainable products. I didn't really have anything exciting so I leaned over to my friend and just jokingly said that I was going to make a bikini that could cool your beer at the beach,” says Schneider. “We laughed about it, but a few weeks later I realized that it was very much possible from a technical standpoint.”
While the bikini didn’t have enough solar cells to cool a beer, it was able to power smaller devices. But Schneider hasn’t given up his dream of creating a beer-cooling swim suit. He is now working on the iDrink, swim trunks for men that can cool one beer in a custom cozy. Cold beer, groovy tunes, what else do you need at the beach? Cheers!