Japan researchers invent solar-cell fabric

This handout picture, released from Kyoto based high tech company Sphelar Power on Dec 11, 2012, shows small bead like spherical solar cells, called Sphelar cells, woven into a fabric. -- PHOTO: AFP/ SPHELAR POWER

TOKYO (AFP) - Clothes that could literally light up your life were unveiled on Tuesday by Japanese researchers who said their solar-cell fabric would eventually let wearers harvest energy on the go.

The new fabric is made of wafer-thin solar cells woven together that could see people powering up their mobile phones and other electronics with their sweater or trousers.

But its creators conceded there was work to do before taking the fabric to market.

"We still have things to solve before commercialisation, such as coating for the conductive wires and improving the fabric's durability," said an official at the Industrial Technology Center in central Japan's Fukui Prefecture.