Feeds

Apple patent filing suggests solar powered iPhone

Cells lurking beneath screen

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

The battery life of portable gadgets has always been a source of frustration. But Apple may have found an eco-friendly way around the problem – by integrating a solar panel behind, say, the iPhone’s LCD display.

Apple has filed a patent application for the integration of a layer of solar cells below a gadget’s LCD display. Essentially, sunlight passing across, say, the iPhone’s screen could be soaked-up by the solar panel beneath the LCD and then turned into useable power for the phone.

The firm's "Solar cells on portable devices" patent application states that “solar cells embedded into the device then provide the electrical power to charge the batteries. The power generated from the solar cell can also directly power the operations of the device”.

It’s not clear at this stage which devices Apple may consider using solar power for, although the iPhone would be an obvious guess because battery life on the phone has been panned since day one.

The patent also states that information about solar-power generation could be displayed on the device’s main screen, allowing users to monitor the amount of mains-sourced power left versus the level of solar charge available.

Apple isn't the first manufacturer to consider integrating solar cells directly into gadgets though. In 2007, Motorola developed a screen allowing around 75 per cent of light to radiate through, meaning a solar cell could be placed behind to soak-up the light and turn it into useable power.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays
Bad computers might ask if you are Sarah Connor
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?