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Apple has just had a new patent approved for what could become the next major advancement in mobile phone technology in the form of an integrated touch and solar sensor panel; in layman’s terms a solar powered iPhone.
New generations of smart phones have faster electronics, more powerful computer chips, and larger screens with a higher resolution, yet battery technology has changed little, and this is starting to limit further advancements. Phones are becoming thinner and thinner, but they can only be as thin as their battery allows them to be; using a solar panel would avoid that problem.
On Tuesday the US Patent and Trademark Office awarded Apple with patent number 8,368,654 for their ‘integrated touch sensor and solar assembly’.
Related article: New Super Thin Solar Cell Reduces Silicon Wastage by 95%
The patent described the technology as “integrated touch sensor and solar panel configurations that may be used on portable devices, particularly handheld portable devices such as a media player or phone are disclosed. The integrated touch sensor array and solar cell stack-ups may include electrodes that are used both for collecting solar energy and for sensing on a touch sensor array. 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. In addition to being used for capacitive sensing, the integrated touch sensor and solar panel configurations may also be used for optical sensing.”
It works as a normal solar panel made up of many small solar cells. When a finger passes over the cells it blocks out the light and this is noted by the sensors. An algorithm then switches the device to a touch sensitive mode and it works as a normal touch screen.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com
This was filed over four years ago and approved in 2010. This is not a new or earth shattering filing.
Highest selling smartphone selling company in 2013, I very much doubt it, only way they are going to do that is if they produce a true game changer this year.
I think the S4 due for release in March(?) may help Sammy continue their growth.
Luckily yes phones are usually in pockets. Still this patent should not have been granted.
Would have thought a heat-trap would be better. Who doesn't know putting old batteries on the radiator (whilst dangerous) increases their lives. A purpose designed trap would be marvelous. Hot in your pocket. Bright out of your pocket.