By Darren Quick: Decent portable keyboards can be hard to find. Roll-up solutions like the ElekTex Smart Fabric Keyboard are extremely portable but lack the feel of traditional keys. Others that do provide traditional keys, like the Goldtouch Go! Travel keyboard, opt for a folding solution that doesn’t really reduce their size all that much. The Keystick keyboard looks to overcome both of these shortfalls with a full-sized QWERTY chicklet keyboard design that folds away like a Japanese fan to become an easily transportable stick.
Usually, when you envisage a media chair your mind conjures up thoughts of weird (read uncomfortable) pieces of furniture that would be more at home in a museum of modern art than your lounge room. But Martin Emila’s Media Chair is something else. Sure, it’s a bit “left field” but it’s a concept chair that would look pretty good at my place I reckon. It features embedded speakers, an iPod dock, a projector and, above all, looks pretty darn comfortable.
With winter fast approaching, it’s time to think about appropriate protective clothing. The Ecotech Solar Jacket, a new clothing piece from Zegna Sport, ticks all the right boxes for winter gear. Made almost entirely from recycled plastic, it is not only environmentally friendly but also solar-powers your MP3, keeps you protected from the elements and has Italian good-looks to boot.
This unique jacket features a detachable solar cell system located in each of the sleeves. Once the sun’s energy is harnessed, it is fed to washable internal leads connected to a rechargeable battery device – also detachable – which is located in the inside pocket. Then it’s ready to power your portable communication device or MP3 player.
The material of the Ecotech jacket will help protect you from the wind and rain, and the solar cells on the sleeve also serve to power a heating system located inside the collar, guaranteeing comfort and warmth. And, as the external fabric, linings, paddings and breathable membrane are all made from 100% regenerated plastics, you’ll not only be wearing an Italian-designed jacket, you’ll be carrying a clear conscience as well.
The battery requires about five hours of direct sunlight to fully recharge and is normally contained in an inner pocket but can also be placed in a separate neoprene case. After charging, it can be used to power your mobile communication device, MP3 player or camera. As the solar panel sleeves and battery are detachable, they can also be charged even when you’re not wearing the jacket. The adapter sets (provided) ensure compatibility with most mobile communication brands.
This is not the first time Zegna Sport has dabbled in integrating technology and clothing, the Zegna Sport Bluetooth iJacket boasted a device in the sleeve to control a cell phone and iPod, and featured a bluetooth interface and microphone embedded in the jacket collar.
No word on pricing yet – what would you expect to pay for a multi-functional, eco-friendly, Italian-designed winter jacket? See video footage of the making of Zegna Sport’s Ecotech Solar Jacket below.
Zegna Sport making of Ecotech Solar-JKT