Solar Bikini: Andrew Schneider

Curator: Tali Krakowsky
date: September 19, 2011
Categories: Entertainment Design, Experience Design
Tags: Design, digital music player, physical computing, solar, wearable computing

Photovoltaic strips transform a swimsuit into a USB port for powering digital music players in Andrew Schneider’s invention of the Solar Bikini.

While wearable computing has become a thing of the present, very little of its bright, electronic potential has manifested in anything beyond a fabulous glow. That’s what I thought, at least, until I saw Andrew Schneider’s Solar Bikini. In a stroke of sexy geek chic inspiration, Schneider imagines AND creates a bikini that powers a digital player.


Forty thin photovoltaic strips made out of flexible cells connect to a USB port that powers an MP3 player or mobile phone, bringing music right to your bikini. Literally.


This refreshing and intelligent approach to intelligent materials is certainly envy invoking. What’s brilliant about it is that it uses hardware as fabric, and wildly successfully seamlessly integrates technology into a tool of seduction, protection and power.


Whether the design is perfect or finessed is of less interest to me. What’s exciting is the innovative approach to thinking about the role of design, technology and function when the lines get so blurred that it is impossible to untangle them. That’s the kind of mess that I love to see in design.

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