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Apple Patents Solar Cell Multitouch Panels

Apple has had a patent approved related to the integration of solar charging in a device's touchscreen.

As opposed to the utilization of layers, the panel's electrodes will function as touch sensors and solar power collectors. It'll allow Apple to retain the thinness of its devices, while also offering the capability of being powered by the sun.

A management unit will decide whether the harvested energy applies power to the phone or, alternatively, be stored in the battery for future use. Apple's newly-granted U.S. Patent No. 8,368,654 for an "[i]ntegrated touch sensor and solar assembly" was filed back in 2008.

The Cupertino firm recently patented an iPhone without a home button, which is believed to be the low-cost variant of the company's flagship device.

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  • sacre
    neat. would be nice to just lay your phone on a table and have it retain its charge for that while. They would last a bit longer.
    Reply
  • twelve25
    This is actually pretty neat. I know a lot of us like to rip on Apple, but occasional they have some good ideas!

    Reply
  • noob2222
    Hold on, I have to put my iphone in direct sunlight.
    Uhh ... what?

    first comes retina display, followed by solar panel nano wires in front of it, sounds great....

    http://www.techhive.com/article/259688/researchers_develop_solar_panels_that_still_let_the_sunlight_through.html

    Wonder how much power you can get with 4% efficient solar panels on an Iphone. Charging time: 24 days.
    Reply
  • spentshells
    noob2222Hold on, I have to put my iphone in direct sunlight.Uhh ... what?first comes retina display, followed by solar panel nano wires in front of it, sounds great.... http://www.techhive.com/article/25 rough.htmlWonder how much power you can get with 4% efficient solar panels on an Iphone. Charging time: 24 days.

    Drinking by the lake this summer we found out an Iphone can only sit i n direct sunlight while playing music for 20 minutes before it gives an error and turns off until it colos down
    Reply
  • spentshells
    about 80F direct sunlight for 20 mins
    Reply
  • alchemy69
    So they don't know how to go about building it but if some genius through hours of blood, sweat and toil does ever manage to one day invent such a thing then Apple will happily screw him.
    Reply
  • spectrablue
    I call bullshit!
    Reply
  • spectrablue
    http://recombu.com/mobile/news/self-sustaining-oled-solar-cell-touchscreen-concept-trips-the-light-fantastic_M16523.html
    Reply
  • Well, alchemy, I assume it's tech their R&D is actively working on, which is why they patented it. If anyone ever does manage to get this working and working well (I have my doubts with current solar technology), I'll guarantee you Apple is going to want it in the iPhone. The patent system is pretty messed up and Apple in particular is toward the top of companies that exploit it, but I'd give them a little more credit than that. It's an interesting concept and even companies that have developed somewhat of a reputation for stagnation still typically pursue new ideas when they have them.
    Reply
  • internetlad
    Patents are great but, uh, is it ever going to hit market, or is this another one of those "futureproofing" patents that apple loves.
    Reply