Chargedcotton -- Electric Sheep Clothing CO.


Alex Dennis and Philip Koechling

I constantly find myself needing a boost in charge on my phone on a day to day basis. I feel as though by around 2-3 o’clock, my phone has around 15-20% battery, and I’m not in a place where it’s easy to charge it. I began to ask classmates and other students if they also had this issue, and the response was pretty much the same for everyone I encountered. People kept on telling me that they just use a portable battery pack to charge their phone, but I thought there was a better more convenient way to do it without weighing down your pockets. Thus I pursued the problem.

We began brainstorming. Our first main idea was to put a battery in a sweatshirt and have a wireless charging coil in the center front pocket. We thought about where and how to integrate the battery into the sweatshirt, about how we could use a bunch of small LiPo batteries scattered throughout, or could just integrate a common store-bought battery pack into the sweatshirt somewhere. After this brainstorm, we drew up a few diagrams of how it would work. We then went to go empathize with peers around the school. We found out the majority of our peers kept their phone in either the front left or front right pocket. After this we began brainstorming again to figure out how we could make our idea better.

In this brainstorm, we came up with the idea of pants. We thought that we could integrate a battery pack into the pants as well as a wireless charging aoil around the front right pocket. But we realized there were very many issues with this idea: not only do wireless charging coils get extremely hot when charging, but they would not be very effective through fabric in the pocket of the pants, and they might catch on fire. Yet another issue with this idea was that there was no real good place to keep the battery for charging the phone in the pants. So we went back to the drawing board. After this, we also considered a clip-on belt of sorts. This would have multiple 500Mah batteries for maximum flexibility. This would also include a wireless charger on the outside of the pocket. The wireless charger idea was flawed because the coils get very hot and could potentially burn. This could perhaps be solved with a fan, but that was impractical.

With our final brainstorm, we kind of mashed two ideas together. We thought we could still have the battery in the sweatshirt where there’s more space, but still have an ability to have the phone charge in the pocket of the users pants. This was also our choice because of people washing their sweatshirts less than pants. Then we thought that we could have a cord just come out of the sweatshirt right above the pocket on either side so the user could choose which pocket they put their phone in — and it could stay in the pocket while it charged.

The next problem we faced was charging the charger. Even if people carry portable chargers on them, a common problem is that they are never charged because they don’t remember to charge the charger. But most people hang up the sweatshirt when they get home, so we integrated a design that allowed your sweatshirt to be charged as it hung on the hanger overnight. In the end we created a prototype that is very simple and allows the phone to be charged in the center pocket of the sweatshirt or the front, left, or right pocket. The sweatshirt thus charges itself overnight on the hanger with a simple quick-attach magnetic charging design.


Philip Koechling and Alex Dennis

Charged Cotton  is a sweatshirt that discreetly charges your phone while it’s in your pocket. It has a built in battery and embedded charging cable, and comes with a powered smart hanger that plugs into the wall.  The sweatshirt charges itself when placed on the hanger. This is done with internal wiring and convenient magnets that attach the charge points of the sweatshirt with the contacts on the hanger. One of the biggest problems with portable chargers is that it’s hard to remember to recharge them.  But to juice up Charged Cotton, simply do what you would normally do — throw it on the hanger! For washing, you are able to remove the battery from the sweatshirt, and if you want a bigger or smaller battery, you can even use your own! The discreet pouch holds the battery so securely and comfortably that you won’t even know it is there — until your phone runs low and you find you have the power that you need!