Right now solar power is one of the sustainable sources to overcome the increasing power needs, especially power needs while you are on move. Already many large corporations are using solar power to an extent to fuel their datacenters. It’s been spoken for quite some time now about the possibilities of powering our personal gadgets using solar energy, but nothing has really come up yet. There are solar powered calculators and keyboards exist but that are less power consuming devices, how about a power hungry iPhone? How would it feel if you get to keep your iPhone charged all day long without connecting to power socket? Yeah, it would be great and it looks the moment might be just around the corner.
Apple is trying to make a touch based smartphone with an integrated solar panel right in it. A newly updated patent is evidence that Apple is hard at work to make the next big move.
U.S. Patent No. 8,730,179 is for an “Integrated touch sensor and solar assembly.” Apple now has the patent that would let it to integrate a solar panel underneath iPhone’s or any smarthphone’s touch screen. It’s such an impressive piece of technology and most of us might have not even given a thought about such an idea. The fact is that Apple has got a patent for it.
The Patent Abstract
“Integrated touch sensor and solar panel stack-up configurations that may be used on portable devices, particularly handheld portable devices such as a media player or phone are disclosed. The solar cell stack-up configurations may include one or more touch sensor layers and one or more solar cell layers. By integrating both the touch sensors and the solar cell layers into the same stack-up, surface area on the portable device may be conserved. The solar panel may be mounted face down or otherwise obstructed by a touch sensor or other component. In this configuration, the device may include light channels that allow light into the device and direct the light around the component and to the solar panel. A parabolic reflector may be used to direct the light.”
Hearing that, we already thinking what a solar powered iPhone 6 would be able to do in your hands. The patent illustrates a solar panel resided below not just a touch screen but also a flexible display. Yeah, that would be jaw dropping stuff.
Patent for a touch screen with integrated solar panel was originally filed back in 2008; however the original patent’s updated revision was awarded last Tuesday May 20, 2014. Now Apple can make such a thing a reality without any fear of anyone coming up with an obscure patent and demand for a millions of dollars and that would be no barrier anymore for them to try.
The patent does not guarantee anything and there may not be any such product in near future. Said that, let’s take a moment to think about the idea that might set us free from relying of power outlets to charger our smartphones very often in the future. At least, when there is sunlight.