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Published:June 27th, 2011 15:06 EST
Shocking New Beachwear?

Shocking New Beachwear?

By Donna Cavanagh

We all look at new products and say, "I thought about that years ago. If only I had patented it."  I know I said those words when I saw water socks in the stores for the first time as well as that soft harness that holds babies upright in shopping carts.  I had the ideas, but no follow through.  I can`t say that about the newest product to come on the market this year. I can honestly say I never once imagined how much easier life would be with a Solar Bikini.

The Solar Bikini is a new and cutting edge product that leaves the most popular inventions such as the ShamWow and the Reacher--that long pole with the claw at the end that helps old people grab stuff from high shelves--in the dust. Let`s see why this new product is so special. According to the website, "The Solar Bikini is a custom made bikini swimsuit retrofitted with 1" x 4" photovoltaic film strips sewn together in series with conductive thread. The cells terminate in a 5 volt regulator into a female USB connection."

So, what does all this techno-talk mean?  Your bikini can charge an IPod! How many times have we forgotten to charge our iPods and found ourselves without music on the beach?  I am unsure if it can charge cell phones, or Kindles or other "personal" electronics but it`s nice to know that technology has come through and given us the gift of our favorite songs. Okay, there are some downsides: the person in the bikini can`t get wet.  Apparently, electricity and water is a bad combo and the wearer of the bikini can wind up with an electrical shock in all the wrong places and probably, not to be crude, but permanent headlights.  

So, how would one stay cool at the beach wearing this suit, if one cannot get wet?  Well, the inventors of the Solar Bikini have thought ahead and come up with a male version which contains a beer cozy inside the suit.  The iDrink, the male solar suit, includes a larger surface area which allows more voltage which can cool a single beer in the custom cozy.  Voltage imbedded in a man`s bathing suit? Hm.  What else can the voltage bring alive in that suit?

I admit that the Solar Bikini sounds like a good idea, but I am unsure as to where one plugs in the iPod. Being that the swimsuit is a bikini, the point of charging has to be in the bra or the bottoms and neither sound comfortable, but I could be wrong.  Just a thought, and I admit that I am no inventor, but wouldn`t it have been better if the company, who makes the electrically charged swimwear, made a Solar Hat instead?  This way, the hat can come off if someone wanted to get wet and sensitive body parts would not be in the way of the voltage.  Okay, not a hat person, how about a solar beach bag?  There is already a beach towel on the market that contains stereo speakers that play an iPod or tunes through an iPhone, but I don`t know if it charges any of these devices. Maybe the bikini people and the towel people can get together and make one product that does all thus eliminating the need for a person to be his or her own power source. I think this would be a worthwhile joint venture.   

I bet the Solar Bikini sells.  I think the people who think technology is sexy will go for this product because nothing is hotter than a body that can jumpstart dead objects.  I am not sure about the beer cozy because I have questions about safety.  Couldn`t this product lead to some horrible accidents if the beer spills inside the suit?  If you can`t go swimming in the bathing trunks because of the danger of electrocution, wouldn`t liquids in near proximity of sensitive body parts cause a really bad power outage?    

While I recognize the ingenuity that went into the Solar Bikini, I have to wonder about the motives of the inventors. Is it really about iPod convenience or is there something diabolical at the core of this invention?  Either way, If I go to the beach this summer and run across someone flopping on the sand like a dying fish, I will definitely wonder if they were careless with their solar beachwear.