Solar handbag follows iPod bra chargers

The Solarjo Power Purse

There are all sorts of cases for mobile phones and iPods — most of them pretty revolting, but some much, much easier on the eye.

For instance, first there was the solar-powered bra that could generate enough electricity to power an iPod or mobile phone. It was called the Photovoltaic-Powered Bra, and was made by Triumph International Japan, whose other eco-chic innovations included a bra than can be turned into a re-usable shopping bag and a bra designed to encourage the use of re-usable chopsticks.

And who can forget the breast-powered iPod, that generated its power with a chesty swing motion.

Now some guy has dreamed up a clutch bag covered in tiny solar panels to convert the sun's rays into electricity. (Hey, shouldn't guys be dreaming up more fancy bras?)

It's called the Solarjo Power Purse.

Iowa State University mechanical engineering student Joe Hynek designed the bag: "It begins working every time the user steps outside. People are very excited because it expresses ecological and environmental themes in addition to the function provided of charging your phone and iPod."

The bag is covered with laminated solar panels made of photovoltaic cells. Two batteries are hidden in the bag's lining of the bag, and connect gadgets to a USB port.

Apparently, the bag needs two hours of full sunlight to charge a mobile phone battery, and could do the same for iPods, iPhones, and even digital cameras.

The handbag will cost £150 when it goes on sale by the end of this year.

There could be a fatal flaw, however, as the bag clearly weighs about 50kg — by the looks of the promotional photography. Maybe it's aimed at Eastern European shot put competitors at this year's Beijing Olympic games.

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