Portable solar-powered tanning panel finds niche audience

A new solar panel – dubbed the "Solar Tanel" – that can help pasty folk of northern stock produce an even, crisp tan all over their body has been developed by researchers at the Institute for Studies in California.

An early prototype of the Solar Tanel, tested at the Institute’s gardens over the past few weeks, produced encouraging results among a variety of volunteers from the laboratory.

Made of a towel-like substance, the Solar Tanel slots easily on to soft ground and is both lightweight and flexible for ease of transportation. The Tanel works in conjunction with human sweat to create dark “damp-spots” that force the user to continuously alter their position, much like a traditional tracker, ensuring the sun’s rays are fully optimized for the duration of the day.

However, in preliminary tests the Tanel has been found to produce certain unwanted side-effects on its test subjects, such as an hitherto-unknown passion for Dan Brown novels, MOR soft-rock played on tinny speakers, and previously undocumented urges to gather near fellow Tanel users and start chucking a Frisbee around.

Alcohol consumption levels were also found to rise in the subjects, exponential to the level of tan each volunteer began to develop. Some test subjects also began muttering stuff about "getting one of them oriental tattoos" the browner they became, too, said Harry Brubaker, chief tan officer at the Institute for Studies.

"While the technical proficiency of the Solar Tanel is near-flawless, particularly here in California’s optimal conditions, its side-effects thus far are rather disconcerting," he said. "Typically mild-mannered, alabaster-skinned scientists who normally shun the sun have, in a matter of hours, begun booking expensive haircuts at local salons and opening Instagram accounts under twee names such as SciFiBabeXX69 and SunsOutGunsOut88.

"We are hoping to iron out these flaws as soon as possible, but if that proves too difficult we have a number of niche markets in mind where such behavior is likely to be encouraged."

Analysts have forecast that if Donald Trump wins the next presidential election, sales of the Solar Tanel could grow into the multi-billions by early 2017.

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