Vodafone launches smartphone-charging sleeping bag for festivals

Vodafone is hoping to keep your gadgets charged at festivals this Summer with clever Smart Fabric clothing and sleeping bags. The technology is able to harvest kinetic and thermal energy to recharge devices while you are out dancing, walking or even while you sleep.

Called the Power Shorts and Recharge Sleeping Bag, the two gadgets have been put together just in time for the Isle of Wight festival. They have been developed by the Electronics and Computer Science Department at the University of Southampton. 

The materials in the product when squashed or deformed, harvest kinetic energy and turn it into power for your smartphone. Temperature changes in the fabric of the sleeping bag also help recharge smartphones.

At the moment, one day's walking in the Power Shorts can return up to four hours' battery life. The sleeping bag is much more impressive, adding 11 hours to your smartphone's battery.

Stephen Beeby, Professor of Electronic Systems at the University of Southampton, said: “We are exploring two specific technologies to charge the Power Pocket: thermoelectrics and kinetic energy harvesting. Both represent cutting-edge research around smart fabrics and we are looking to integrate these into consumer products - in this case, a sleeping bag and a pair of denim shorts.”

Those at the Isle of Wight Festival will be able to see the Power Pocket concept in action from 13 to 16 June. They will also be appearing at other Vodafone-sponsored festivals.