May 27

Apple to Harness Solar Energy

Apple seems to be looking at something sunnier as employees reported that it has filed a patent to place solar cells on portable devices. Apple’s devices such as the iPhone could be fitted with photovoltaic cells underneath the LCD touch screens to maximize the area that will harness the sun’s energy.

The filing indicated that the performance of a device’s solar cells could be displayed on the main screen next to info for battery power, text message alerts and time of day. Or it could also show on top of the solar cells themselves. Apple’s new technology could pave way for the next generation of wireless mobility. Users can finally charge their devices without the need to connect to the power grid.

Apple is not the only electronic manufacturer looking to harness the sun’s power since the 6.4-ounce Solio Mg ($200) from Better Energy Systems has already been out in the market. It has 3 magnesium blades that fan out to reveal solar panels which can store enough power to charge most phones and PDAs twice. According to sources, an hour of clear sun can provide cell phones about 25 minutes of talk time or an iPod an hour of playing time while it takes ten hours of direct sun to fully juice the device.

The Voltaic Systems’ Generator laptop bag is another device which is covered in solar cells to charge any laptop. It can generate up to 14.7 watts after a day of direct sunlight and can carry a 17-inch Apple Powerbook. The bag comes with adapters that allow other electronics, such as cell phones, to be charged.

These amazing new technologies are definitely making gadget freaks like me giddy with excitement.

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2 comments

2 comments!!!

  1. I’ve had a solar-powered wristwatch for more than a decade. It works great! Granted, an iPhone uses more juice but if solar watches have been practical for many years, technology must have evolved to the point of having solar PDAs by now!

  2. faith says:

    The human ingenuity never ceases to amaze me. Imagine what we can accomplish if we tried hard enough. For this reason, I am not so fearful of the shortages in fuel. I believe when the need arises, we can meet the challenge. Pretty soon, we will be able to discover sources of power that will be cheaper and earth-friendly.

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