Researchers at the Iowa State University have invented a green gadget, a solar-powered necktie, in the process of inventing fabric that integrates photovoltaic thin film cells both physically and aesthetically into wearable clothing. In terms of aesthetics, it’s a hard job, as solar cells are usually a distinct blue-ish colour and grid-pattern.
The Iowa State University team have come up with an idea to use digital textile printing to print fabric that matches the pattern style of the component (i.e. the the solar cells). Essentially using a print that camouflages the component in the clothing. However, the pattern used for the camouflage is of questionable taste. In their example, the solar tie is able to charge a mobile phone. In my opinion, it doesn’t look that attractive!