Apple’s New Patent Will Use Solar Energy to Power Accessories
Apple’s new patent will solve two problems faced by smartphone users and manufacturers – longer battery life and energy conscious batteries. According to Patently Apple (via 9to5Mac), Apple has patented a technology that involves applying solar cells to a touch display surface like a trackpad or iPhone to store power for the device.
Apple is not the first one to think of incorporating solar charging into its devices. In 2010, Puma launched a phone in tandem with Sagem, which included a solar panel. It’s a different thing that the device didn’t work.
According to Patently Apple, Apple notes that “the wireless device has a touch sensor and a solar cell that converts ambient light into electrical power. Wireless communications circuitry transmits the touch input to the external equipment using the electrical power from the solar cell. Energy storage devices such as a capacitor and a battery can be charged using the electrical power.”
The above technology described can be used for Apple’s Wireless Keyboard or Magic Mouse, which require AA batteries and wirelessly transmit signals through Bluetooth. In the diagram procured by Patently Apple, it seems the new design would be applicable to only Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad.
The potential doesn’t end here. In a few years, we can see the new design getting implemented into Macbooks, iPhones and Apple Watch, which could run continuously on solar power, allowing users to continuously perform tasks.