Apple Patent Hints at Solar-Powered iPhone
Apple patents are a never ending stream of interesting ideas. The latest details to surface about Apple patents include plans for making solar-powered devices.
It wouldn't be the first time we've seen a solar-powered phone; however, Apple's patent is much more interesting in that it details a solar panel that is also touch sensitive. That means an Apple device could charge via the sun without sacrificing functionality. The charging surface could also be used for navigating the user interface.
The news of Apple's solar-power patent comes from Patently Apple, a site that specializes in finding and interpreting Apple patents.
While the Apple patent mentions several different devices this technology could be applied to, including media players, phones and tablets, an interesting detail points directly to the iPhone. The upcoming iPhone 4G has a new kind of material on the back that has been described as both ceramic and glass-like. The solar-power patent explains how the solar panels could be placed under a glass cover, indicating that the new iPhone design could be a step in this direction.
Despite this similarity, keep in mind that it's not likely this technology will appear in Apple devices any time soon. Some patented technology never even reaches store shelves, and those that do often take years to get there.