A solar ski helmet that keeps you charged on the slopes.
The new 3D solar panel developed by Fraunhofer IZM is almost invisible when mounted onto a ski helmet. Using brand new techniques, the high-performance solar cells can be fitted to the curve of a helmet without forfeiting durability or performance.
Together with the Technical University of Berlin and the company TEXSYS, Fraunhofer IZM has developed a new communication module that can be integrated directly into the helmet. It lays the foundation for covering all the power requirements an avid skier may have, including stereo headphones and headsets that could soon be powered solely by energy gained from the solar panels attached to the surface of the ski helmet. Mobile devices such as smart phones and MP3 players could then be connected wirelessly via Bluetooth. Incoming calls could be received without breaking glide by using the accompanying Bluetooth-enabled glove. The user can even operate an MP3 player remotely from the glove, ensuring that cumbersome removal of gloves in sub-zero temperatures is finally a thing of the past. The result is a complete communication system integrated directly into the ski equipment, without annoying cables and that weighs almost nothing.
A prototype of the solar helmet is already available and the next step involves field tests and a redesign. The solar ski helmet will then be released commercially at the end of 2012 as a small-series production in cooperation with a major helmet manufacturer at a retail price of around 300 euro.
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