Mobile phones are great devices that have become important tools for doing business, contacting friends and family, and used as multimedia devices to entertain us. But one drawback is the ever present problem of running out of battery power.
Patent number 8,368,654
The Apple patent is officially called “Integrated touch sensor and solar assembly.” A diagram for the proposed component shows a touchscreen, which incorporates solar panels into its substrate. This device could mean a new era for mobile phones where the worry of a depleted cell phone battery could be eliminated or at the very least, warded off for a while.
Already in use
The idea of solar panel powered devices is nothing new, and in recent years, has become very popular in providing the energy needed to run quartz wrist watches. The Citizen Watch Company has incorporated this technology into a line of watches called Eco Drive.
But the big question is whether the power generated by a solar cell panel can actually run a larger device such as a cell phone.
At the moment, the technology isn’t powerful enough to do so, but as it is with all electronics, there is sure to be a breakthrough that will catch up to the needs of consumers.