Looks like phone companies in Europe are hungry to outdo one another in the eyes of smartphone-loving concert-goers. First Vodafone unveiled a custom 18-wheeler capable of charging 2,000 phones at once, and now Orange is responding with a shirt that'll only charge one phone — but with magic.
Okay, maybe not magic magic, but it certainly seems close: the shirt converts sound into juice for hungry gadgets.
You wouldn't think it as Orange is a telecommunications company and all (based out of France with a large presence in the U.K.), but this "Sound Charge" shirt isn't its first foray into the wild world of gadget innovations. The company came out with some gadget-juicing boots last year that converted the wearer's body heat into energy, and it even scored them a spot on TIME's "50 Best Innovations of 2010."
It's not entirely clear how it works as the shirt is still in development, but music festivals in the U.K. can get pretty loud — Orange estimates the fests average around 80 dB of noise, which is comparable to a garbage disposal or passing train, and also near the range where hearing damage starts. With that in mind, the Sound Charge tee features a flat microphone panel that'll drink in all those decibels, and in turn generate some electricity for your smartphone. It may even be enough to make sure you can always make a call.
Wearers will be able to remove the sensitive bits of Orange's shirt so that they can put it through the wash, too, and the shirt comes with a variety of plugs to fit different phones.
This isn't the first charge-through-sound concept we've seen. South Korea, similarly, is working on a phone that powers itself by way of the user's voice.