Tommy Hilfiger launches solar power jackets to charge your phone
The clothing label has developed a range of clothing embedded with solar panels so that you always have backup power for your devices.
Michelle StarrScience editor
Michelle Starr is CNET's science editor, and she hopes to get you as enthralled with the wonders of the universe as she is. When she's not daydreaming about flying through space, she's daydreaming about bats.
It's happened to the best of us: you're out and about, just doing you thing, when your phone/tablet/iPod/handheld gaming system runs clean out of power. And sure, there are a bunch of products on the market to help you out in these situations -- but most of them are an extra device that you have to remember to charge, then carry around with you.
Tommy Hilfiger wants to make your portable charger wearable. With the assistance of solar manufacturer Pvilion, the clothing label has launched a pair of jackets -- one for men, one for women -- that has an array of solar panels to collect solar power for charging your gadgets if you find yourself in a power bind.
The jackets, which feature a tartan design (although the ladies' jacket looks a bit like the TARDIS from the back, if you squint), are fitted with water resistant, flexible solar panels that snap on and off easily. A cable runs to battery pack in one of the front pockets, which in turn has a double USB port, so you can charge two devices at once.
When fully charged, the battery contains enough power to completely charge a 1,500 mAh device up to four times. It's not clear how long this process takes collecting power from the sun, but if you find it frustratingly slow, you can also pull the battery out and charge it up from an external power source via USB.
The jackets cost $599 for both the men's and the women's style, and are available from the Tommy Hilfiger website and selected stores in the northern hemisphere. They're limited edition only, and 50 percent of the proceeds of each will go towards the Fresh Air Fund.