If you can't beat 'em, join 'em... that's what Sanyo must be thinking by announcing their new solar-powered plush neck warmers and hand warmers at the height of a typical Tokyo summer's stifling heat. Either that, or Christmas shopping in Japan is off to a VERY early start.
Questionable timing aside, the neck warmer looks kinda, er, cool - soft, furry plush in Light Grey or Charcoal Grey with contrasting zippers. Each neck warmer incorporates a thin heating element powered by a small Eneloop battery attached by a short cord.
You'll need to purchase a separate Sanyo mini solar panel to charge up the battery, but said battery can also be used to charge cellphones and other portable electronic devices when it's not needed to heat up a neck warmer or hand warmer ... in Japan, that would be about 11.5 months of the year.
So, have the product planners at Sanyo been dropping (battery) acid or something? Their August 5 press release mentions something about the neck warmer being useful for bike riders and hikers, which sort of makes sense.
They're also pushing the "Eneloop Lifestyle"; an eco-friendly way of life powered by - wait for it - Sanyo Eneloop batteries, mini solar panels and all-season neck warmers. The future's lookin' bright and I'm feelin' kinda warm! (via 3yen)