A patent has been given to Apple after they filed their design for an iPhone that uses solar power to charge throughout the day.
The solar panels would be hidden behind the touchscreen. The patent does not explicitly explain how the technology works, but that means it could also be used for other Apple products like Macbooks and iPads.
According to Apple, the technology would not only be able to charge the battery or another energy storage device like a capacitator, but would also directly power the touchscreen itself. The solar cells would be activated when someone touches their iPhone screen, bypassing the battery altogether.
Apple is known to patent a lot of new technologies that never make it out of their research lab. Recently, though, there have been rumors that they plan to remove the famous single button, the button used to return to the home screen, from the iPhone 7. The new model will have a pressure-sensitive display.
The company also recently patented new solar technology, which makes it seem even more likely that they will want to put this patent to good use, and quickly.
For those who want to save energy and keep their phones charged for longer in the short term, news from the Apple Research and Development department is that they are working on ways to extend the battery life of their older models. The next scheduled software update will install the new operation system, iOS 9, which adds an hour of battery life.
On top of that, switching on the new “Low Power Mode” grants three more hours of power. This mode will turn off background activity like email retrieval and downloads. It will also dim the screen and slow networking speeds.
There are plenty of solar cell phone chargers available for iPhones, too, for complete wireless freedom right now.
Image (c) Apple