Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Apple Files Patent For "Solar Cells on Portable Devices"

Apple and others are pursuing at least one other approach: solar augmentation. In a patent application dated April 24, 2008 and titled "Solar cells on portable devices" attributed to a number of Apple employees, Apple reveals possible plans to integrate solar cells into devices such as iPods and MacBooks. The application describes a scenario where, "Solar cells are typically stacked with other layers made of transparent or semi-transparent materials... Some of these layers may be used for display or input purposes, and some layers may be coated with various materials or they may be etched with product logos or other patterns." In other words, Apple is looking to cover the entire device, including the transparent display, with a layer of solar cells -- the latter approach already patented by Motorola.
That is pretty cool that you can have solar cells underneath the transparent display. Combine this with M2E's motion charging and you might never have to plug in your gadgets or worry about batteries dying again.

via Engadget

3 comments:

John said...

Cool, but an imbecilic patent.

Solar FM radios have been around, what, 30 years?

It's a patentable idea to apply the same obvious logic to other handhelds as the power ratios allow? Only in America.

Fat Knowledge said...

John,

I don't know specifically what the patent is about, so I don't know if Apple is doing something novel that is patent worthy, or if it is rather mundane as you suggest.

I just found it interesting that people at Apple are doing this research and that future Apple products might have this feature included.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I can't believe no one's thought of this before! I can't think of any mobile devices that have solar cells -- oh wait. I'm pretty sure solar cells have been on pocket calculators since they replaced the slide rule.

solar cell? check. on mobile device? check. Grounds for patent? Hmm....

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