Solar panels have been hard to put into many stuff, largely because they’re so ugly. Well, they’re still ugly, but the Diffus Solar Handbag manages to integrate the erstwhile eyesores into its design in a creative way.
Instead of simply slapping a large panel on the outside like previous solar laptop bags and solar backpacks have done, the ladies’ accessory actually uses 100 tiny solar panels, arranged in a stylish pattern on the bag’s outer. While not the finest looking design, it’s really elegant enough to pass off as a fashionable handbag for ladies who appreciate getting their gadgets charged while they make their way through the day.
The Diffus Solar Handbag uses copper-framed solar cells for accent, which meshes very well with the exposed wiring (yep, that black outer material are the actual wires). It can put out only 2 watts of power (at 9% efficiency), which may not sound much but would be a lifesaver when your phone is using up its last bar of juice. The energy generated is collected on a lithium ion module hidden away inside the purse, where you can connect your handheld gadgets for charging. Oh yeah, the bag comes with a built-in purse light that draws power from the battery, which immediately switches on as soon as you unzip the closure.
A joint project between Diffus Design, the Alexandra Institute and Swiss embroidery specialists Forster Rohne, the bag sounds like more of an experimental prototype at this point. There’s no word on future plans for production and potential pricing, but expect this to be a luxury item if it ever makes its way onto a catwalk (and, eventually, your favorite high-priced designer shop).