Long lasting battery life is perhaps an inexorable element to any device and has already started to make huge difference to user’s perspective while opting for any device. Acknowledging the same, Apple has started to work in the direction and has received a patent titled “Wireless devices with touch sensors and solar cells” (via Patently Apple).
The patent revolves around how solar cells would be fabricated to touch display surface of future trackpads, Magic Mice, wireless keyboards, and iPhones that would make a huge difference to battery life.
Theoretically, light-based power sources are simply built into the functional top layers of a device. So, the solar cell being a light based power source gathers and converts ambient light into usable electrical energy, which is the stored into some relevant storage system like a battery or regulated capacitor.
So, when your device gets out of juice, it would start harvesting this stored energy to power capacitive touch sensors, onboard processors, wireless radios and other components. If implemented some day, such a battery system would simply replace Li-Ion batteries that most of the devices use to power themselves. Moreover, the project clean energy into action.
Apple has been researching solar tech for years. Apple has earlier shared job listings for experts in the solar field with a focus on mobile devices and now we know the reason.Apple’s current device designs are ideal candidates for such alternative energy solutions. However, the question arises whether this technology is capable enough to supply enough energy to facilitate long-term daily use.
Apple’s solar-powered computer peripheral patent application was first filed for in January 2014 and credits Matthew E. Lang as its inventor.