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Portables Toys Hardware Technology

Solar Powered Jacket Charges Your Gadgets 308

blorg writes "Wired News has a story about a new jacket from SCOTTeVEST that uses flexible solar panels on the shoulders to recharge gadgets in the pockets. The idea is that you can now keep all of your gadgets charged, even if you are spending an extended period of time away from a power source. The solar charging is an addition to an existing jacket with features including 42 hidden pockets that can be wired together through the jacket lining."
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Solar Powered Jacket Charges Your Gadgets

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  • by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @10:23AM (#7972865) Homepage Journal

    In the interests of political correctness I wish to formally protest this device.

    It doesn't take into account the needs of miners, subway operators and sewer workers. I dream of a world in which these forgotten peoples and we surface dwellers can join hands in peace and rejoice in equal-opportunity recharging.

    Thank you.
  • Old Sci-Fi? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Grey_14 ( 570901 )
    Anyone get flashbacks to old Sci-Fi shows? with the gigantic shoulder pads? Can we get high stainless steel collars on our jackets too now?
  • by Damon C. Richardson ( 913 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @10:24AM (#7972887) Homepage
    Can't wait to walk past TSA with this hooked up to my pda, mp3 player and gameboy advance.
    • by Mr Guy ( 547690 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @10:26AM (#7972916) Journal
      Doesn't even NEED devices attached. Run this through an Xray machine and pray you have your receipt and owners manual with you when they are trying to figure out why your jacket is wired up like a Christmas tree.
    • To tell you the truth, I've checked my coat every time I've flown since September 11th, 2001. No point in lugging extra crap around that they're just going to search anyway.

      But with my current run of luck, I could probably show up at the gate naked and they'd still want to search me. I must have a name on a watch list or something. Perhaps Slashdot readers are automatically entered in the Homeland Security Sweepstakes?

      • For me it's been just the opposite: before 11 Sept I would get stopped every time, sometimes multiple times in one airport. I'd spread my legs, they'd search me, they'd unpack all my stuff in front of me, some times they'd make me remove various articles of clothing (never completely to nothing, but sometimes close), and so forth. One time coming from London I was stopped six times in Heathrow, three of which involved unpacking and repacking all of my stuff and one of which involved a full search.

        Since 1
  • by FJ ( 18034 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @10:26AM (#7972911)
    Get prepared to answer about one million questions when you put it through the xray machine. To be on the safe side, arrive about 2 days prior to your departure time.
  • Hmmm... (Score:3, Funny)

    by cabingirl ( 671963 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @10:26AM (#7972918)
    So they make a geek toy that requires sunlight to operate? How will we maintain our pasty complexions?
  • by John Jorsett ( 171560 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @10:27AM (#7972926)
    Does anyone else see a fundamental flaw in the assumptions about the potential market?
  • by torpor ( 458 ) <<ibisum> <at> <gmail.com>> on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @10:28AM (#7972933) Homepage Journal
    ... and I have to say that its crap.

    The build quality is ludicrous - the magnet clasps fell out 3 days after I put it on.

    Plus, even though I ordered a medium, it still seems like you have to be a fat, overweight geek with 17 gadgets in his pockets in order for it to fit right.

    My opinion is this: don't get one unless you're going to walk around with $2,000 of gear stuffed into the pockets, because it won't fit right otherwise...
  • those guys should expect a lawsuit withing the hour, as SCO will claim that they own the patents and intellectual properties on the sun, heat, and the universe.

    Darl: "Your honor, the vest is called a SCOttevest. It is a clear indicator that our IP has been incorporated in this vest!"

    Judge Scott: "I'm not amused."

  • by locknloll ( 638243 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @10:29AM (#7972948) Homepage
    From the feature list:
    Perfect For
    • Skiing/Snowboarding
    • Photography
    • Traveling
    • Hiking
    • Law enforcement
    Law enforcement... cool. Now the cops can keep their 50kV stun guns charged all the time!
    • "Law enforcement... cool. Now the cops can keep their 50kV stun guns charged all the time!"

      I'd say for the dude getting stunned it beats having their issue sidearms charged at all times...but that's another debate alltogether [of which I don't normally support, e.g. menace to society.... we put you down sucka!]

  • pulled off a flight recently because of wires sticking out of a motorcycle jacket?

    NYtimes article (no reg required) [nytimes.com].

    Wonder what they'd do to you if you were wearing one of these? Interrogation? Beatings? Electrodes on your nipples?

  • by CaptainAlbert ( 162776 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @10:32AM (#7972968) Homepage
    ...when it starts raining? ...when you try to get through airport security? ...when someone h4X0rs your jacket via Bluetooth? ...when you can't find your pager/cellphone because you have 42 different pockets?

    Personally, I think they haven't thought this one through. Solar power is for wimps. My jacket has a 17-foot lightning rod attached for energy collection. (It was either that or the rubber-soled-shoe/shag-pile-carpet combination, but that only works indoors.)
  • by Judg3 ( 88435 ) <jeremy.pavleck@com> on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @10:32AM (#7972970) Homepage Journal
    The jacket is a cool idea, but unless all of the devices worn on it are bulletproof (which would be pretty slick) I'll pass.
    As it is, I had an Ipaq as well as several other PDAs before. They where just to fragile for me to consider carrying them that close to me all the time.
    About the only thing I feel comfortable carrying on my person would be my cellphone and pager - everything else would have me trying to constantly remember things like "Ok, PDA in pocket X, make sure I don't sit/do jumping jacks/box/etc etc".
  • but.. but... (Score:2, Redundant)

    by mr. methane ( 593577 )
    wouldn't this require us to... *shudder*... actually go out in sunlight???

    Fiends. Next thing you know they'll be selling tanning beds for vampires.
  • by Via_Patrino ( 702161 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @10:32AM (#7972979)
    You have two options for charge that jacket:

    1) Use it with you inside, but you can damage your skin appearence or get cancer that way

    2) Leave the jacket staring on the sun, but the sun will damage your jacket (specially colors) and soon you will not be able to use it on yourself (you still can just carry it with you though)

    I would prefer carry just that flexible solar panels on my pocket/car/wallet
  • The problem with solar is that it's inefficient. So if everyone has their own portable solar station with them they waste a lot of material and ironically energy.

    Why not just put more outlets at airports, restaurants then supplment the powergrid with more solar?

    So far of the five airports I've been to I've never seen an electrical outlet anywhere. That to me is just plain stupid.

    Even in the new Ottawa airport there aren't any. So they spend billions on some "art nouveau deco" for the airport then don'
    • That's because they don't want you sucking up their precious power.

      I'd wager that there are enough people with cell phones, PDAs, laptops, and portable music devices that to provide any significant number of outlets would generate a hefty boost in the electric bill... Not to mention that they couldn't put in 'a few'.

    • Not only do airports not want you sucking up their power, but they don't want people sprawled about the airport with their laptops and other gadgets out taking up space. Have you ever noticed how at airports many people are oblivious to the throngs of other people around them? People will plop down by an outlet so they can charge their laptop, eventhough there are hundreds of people trying to get around them.

      Another example of this, and I see it all the time, is when a group of people come to the end of
  • by ocie ( 6659 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @10:35AM (#7973006) Homepage
    Now where did I put those keys?
  • FineTex exterior (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sara Chan ( 138144 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @10:36AM (#7973016)
    The jacket has a FineTex exterior. Does anyone know how this compares with Goretex? (The web sitesays "just like Gore-Tex, but not as costly".)

    • It is water-proof and breathable, and you can't tell the difference between this and Gore-tex. Scott Jordan, President, www.scottevest.com
      • I'm impressed. The president of the company not only reads slashdot, but responds to questions as well!

        Now for my questions. When and where will this be available for purchase, and will there be an option to plug this into an power outlet to charge everything (that would be so much simpler than taking everything out of the jacket and plugging them into their respective chargers)?
        • and a person's posting history... Scott Jordan has posted about six comments, virtually all of which promote, or have to do with, his product/company.

          Not to run down a CEO who reads slashdot... that alone certainly puts him in a tiny minority... but he's far from a regular slashdot contributer... see for yourself.

          Scott Jordan's posting history [slashdot.org]

      • Is FineTex a separate liner layer like GoreTex, or is it built in to the exterior fabric like Columbia's OmniTech?

        Just so you know I bought a new GoreTex jacket this winter because I hated the way my four year old OmniTech soaked through after maybe an hour in the rain. ReviveX helped, but I still am not a big "integral waterproofing" fan. I prefer the separate layer.

        And since you seem to be responding better than your server (no offense intended, a slashdotting is not a trivial thing to survive) are

  • Well, ok, not only solar energy, better than this actually. The Renewable Energy Magazine is a great resource in the domain. It is also free providing you work with renewable resources. I have been reading this magazine for a year and learned so much on renewable energies. Worthed. See http://www.jxj.com/magsandj/rew/index.html [jxj.com]
  • How much power do these two little solar cells generate ? I highly doubt it's sufficient to feed all gadgets at once.
  • by richlb ( 168636 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @10:44AM (#7973101)
    Why didn't they stick a hood on that thing and integrate headphones into it? That would be cool.
  • They actually liked my suggestion! Way to go, Scott!
  • Jackass (Score:3, Informative)

    by GlassUser ( 190787 ) <slashdot&glassuser,net> on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @10:45AM (#7973109) Homepage Journal
    I'm not buying crap from this guy. I'd never heard of him until I got a spam listing one of his products (in all fairness, I have no reason to believe that this original spam was in any way affiliated with him). Apparently an image was linked from his web site, so when I reported it, his ISP got on the LART list. (this part is my conjecture) He ignored the request for info from his ISP, and as per their policy that he agreed to, they disabled his site. He didn't find out for a couple more days and then got really pissed at me (end my conjecture). So he emailed me and threatened to sue me for things like trying to destroy his business, taking his name (his last name is my first name), and some kind of trade infringement since we have the same name and we have businesses that work with portable computers. I told him where to stick it and to learn to be responsible for his web site and customers, he said I'd hear from his lawyer. A few months later I got a not-quite-spam from his company. (more conjecture follows) Either his ISP didn't think it was spam, they ignored the LART, or he learned to actually check up on his web site.

    Either way I make sure to tell people not to do business with this loser.
    • Re:Jackass (Score:4, Informative)

      by ahrenritter ( 187622 ) * <deinspanjer@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @12:19PM (#7974054) Homepage
      I purchased their products for myself and as gifts. I've communicated with both him and his wife and they were professional and friendly.

      I accidentally got on their mailing list twice, and I was easily able to unsubscribe the second address.

      I won't discount any of your statements since I don't know the details of your interaction with him, but I just wanted to give my personal opinions regarding SCOTTeVEST.
  • by Realistic_Dragon ( 655151 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @10:46AM (#7973122) Homepage
    Can I get one with a built in tin-foil lined hood?
  • How is this news for those pale skin, 'dew drinkin' parents-basement-livin' nerds? Most of us probably haven't seen the sun for several months - if not longer!
  • by Scott Jordan ( 611641 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @10:48AM (#7973138) Homepage
    Thanks for the post! The traffic from slashdot caused our website to crash. Please bear with us.
    • Yeah, give this poor guy some time to dig the web-serving Palm Pilot out of his solar-powered pockets and reboot it...
    • With all the added power requirements, maybe another jacket should be added to the server farm?
    • Take a look at this guys posting history.


      Nothing but posts supporting his product. I just get bad vibes from this product/guy for some reason, and this post somewhat confirmed what I was thinking: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=92802&cid=7973 109

      Get a jacket from the local surplus store and be done with it.

      • that I'd blackball the man yet... his account appears to be at least year old or so (at least it wasn't created by some troll 5 minutes ago).

        But your point is well-taken... he may read slashdot, but it doesn't look like his posts have contributed much more than a few plugs for his product.

        I concur with your call for caution.
      • He's got a family-owned nitch business, and he is a tech-nut. I don't see *anything* wrong with his only postings on Slashdot being about his products.

        I'm curious, when you looked at his posting history, were there only six entries? I looked at all of them and didn't see anything that I could objectively think of giving reason for bad vibes...

        I replied to the other comment you linked. Don't know the details, but you always have to consider the bad marks against the good. I've never had any trouble with
        • He's got a family-owned nitch business, and he is a tech-nut. I don't see *anything* wrong with his only postings on Slashdot being about his products.

          I agree. How many folk have things in their sigs linking to products or OSS project they have worked on? Quite a lot. Or, how many "sorry for OUR server melting" posts are there...?

          Provided is isn't a "First post, buy the jacket" type of person with nothing to contribute other than noise, then it's not a bad thing. Everyone wants to plug their shit...

  • by pecosdave ( 536896 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @10:48AM (#7973142) Homepage Journal
    What about a baseball cap with a solar brim? Plug it into your jacket for added solar surface area (more watts). Whats better, in places like Texas where I live you don't wear a jacket but a few months out of the year, but a cap can be worn year round. Use it as a stand alone device. In the Western part of the state a cap brim would pull in more juice than a jacket cap combo in lot of places. Just sounds like the natural next step to me.

    No. Even though I'm a Texan I don't thing a solar Stetson would sell. Well, maybe a few....
    • Scott, I agree with this post. If the brim had enough surface area to be able to charge something it would be fantastic on its own.

      I purchased one of the SCOTTeVEST hats as well, I wore it, but I wasn't entirely satisfied with the fit. It didn't hug my head tightly enough and tended to be very easy to blow off. It was very nicely constructed though. Unfortunately, I managed to lose it in a restaurant. :/
  • This is a good idea, but I beleve it is implimented in the wrong way. People are not going to buy jackets that have this. Why not put this technology/idea into a backpack? You could place the solar panels on the sholders on the backpack, or even a sort of side bag that has become so popular. Woul this not be a more appealing idea? Personally I would buy a backpack that had this feature. My laptop always needs those good ol' rays of cancer.*gigle*
  • They are assuming we go out into the sunshine, hell i spend my entire work day in a windowless closet of a server room with the light out to keep the heat down.
  • does it recharge under fluorescent lighting???!!!
  • Someone already joked about getting it through security...I think it would be near impossible.

    Recently there was a woman wearing a leather motorcycle jacket with a built in heating system that connects to the bike via wires...these wires were hanging out of the jacket..all of a sudden we have a terroist situation...a plane delayed awhile and this woman was accosted...Sorry, thats not making me safer, some hunyuk terrorist wanting to take down a plane is going to be smart enough to make sure no WIRES are ha
  • "... features including 42 hidden pockets that can be wired together through the jacket lining."

    I don't know, but something tells me this jacket seriously wouldn't go down too well in an airport. In this world where almanacs are the work of the devil, lets just say such a jacket might get some odd looks...
    • I have had no problems with it. It actually makes the security checkpoint very convenient. I just stick it in a bucket and send it through the x-ray machine. All I have to worry about is remembering to take off my watch.
  • by Cy Guy ( 56083 ) * on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @11:05AM (#7973281) Homepage Journal
    Would be for the jacket to also accept firewire, USB 2.0 and bluetooth connections from the gadgets then act as a WiFi router back to your computer and/or the Internet. Now that would be sweet.

    Walk by an open Access Point and suddenly you get updated for your email, the latest RSS feed from SlashDot, the MP3 tracks from that CD your friend just baought and ripped, etc.

  • by PSaltyDS ( 467134 ) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @11:06AM (#7973289) Journal
    For you /. types who need a reason to go outdoors, hook your solar-jacket up to one of these [wired.com], and you'll never go back inside again!

  • For the full Press Release see: http://www.scottevest.com/htmlemail/icp_release/in dex.html However, due to all the traffic, I think our server is down temporarily. We are working on it! Scott Jordan
  • Saw one post on here that said it's not too tough, and website is dead. So my question is while it'd be nice to have this type jacket for extended (2 days+) outdoor use, is it tough enough to survive that? If so, great for keeping a cell phone or portable radio charged for emergencies. If not, seems worthless as most devices will go about 8 hours or more w/o charge and most people get to outlets within that time...
    • Don't know anything about the solar add-on, but I own a 3.0 and I feel it is very durable. Being waterproof helps in the stain department too. :)

      I had a problem with the draw strings on the hood when I first got it, but they sent me a replacement hood that has worked just fine..
  • The subject line says it all! With 120 pounds of gadgets and 27 cables, my hiking trip is only 30 feet!
  • ... capture and purify my perspiration so that I can survive in a hyper-arid desert environment?

    Think bigger, ScottEVest.
  • Here's what I don't get:

    "Hey look! The sun's coming out, it's starting to warm up! Why, it's so nice out I think I'll take off my jacket!"

The IQ of the group is the lowest IQ of a member of the group divided by the number of people in the group.