The sunglasses of the future might do more than protect your eyes from UV rays. They could actually turn solar power in electricity and by doing so, power up your other wearables #objectmagic
The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany) devised a pair of solar glasses that can generate electricity every time they’re exposed to sun. Solar cells double as lenses, gathering solar energy while you’re out and about. The fact that the photovoltaic tech is incredibly adaptable and low weight makes it a perfect fit for light wearables such as a pair of sunglasses.” The energy yield is used to drive an electronic circuit including sensors, a microprocessor and two displays attached to the temples”, explained one of the researchers for Digital Trends.
As you can imagine, such a prototype would not be sufficient to power up your tablet, but it could come in handy for your smartwatch or fitness tracker. In direct, summer sunlight, the solar glasses work wonders but even in 500 lux direct indoor illumination they would generate about 200 microwatts. As appealing as the idea is, researchers aren’t ready to turn the demo into a full product. In fact, they never intended it to develop it for commerce.
The KIT sunglasses are an experiment meant to assert the varied uses of solar cells and how this technology can come together with wearables. As companies like Tesla bring alternative energy in people’s houses, it’s easy to imagine how in a decade such energy will power up most of our devices and in a way, our lives.