Solar Screen for Cell Phones – No Charge Required

Solar Screen for Cell Phones – No Charge Required
French company Wysips developed technology which will allow users to charge their cell phones from a transparent photovoltaic film placed on top of the cell phone display. The company hope that future versions of the technology will charge the device so fast it will be able to work almost indefinitely.
Wysips Prototype in action
(credit: Laptop Magazine video)

Everybody is talking about the importance of solar power, but finding cost effective ways of using it and gaining real benefits isn’t easy. Wysips, a French startup claims it has not only found a way to use solar energy efficiently – it was able to do so to help charge the most widespread gadget in the world – the cell phone.

Since modern smart phones typically have large displays, using them to collect solar power was just a matter of time (and some very innovative technology). Wysips put a piece of transparent photovoltaic film over  the screen which provides about 250mW of power. Since the film Wysips  uses is extremely thin – only 100 microns  – it will not make the screen less bright. Price is also a strong point: According to Wysips, adding the film will typically add just one dollar to the cost of a phone.
By now you are probably asking yourself, “How long will it take to charge my cell phone?”  the answer, according to Wysips, about 6 hours for your average cell phone in direct sunlight. The next generation should be able to do even better and give users half an hour of use for every hour of charge.
If all goes according to Wysips’s plans, the first cell phones with the technology should find their way to the market in 2012. Other devices might also benefit from the technology, especially things like tablets (such as the iPad with its 10 inch display) and e-readers which already have very long battery lives.
At TFOT we covered many solar powered gadgets including  solar-powered electronic ink advertisements, a lightweight solar panel bag, and  roll-up solar panels.
More info can be found on Wysips’s website and on the folowing video.
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About the author

Iddo Genuth

Iddo has a B.A. in Philosophy and Cognitive Science and an M.A. in Philosophy of Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is currently writing his Ph.D. thesis on the relationship between the scientific community and industry. Iddo was awarded the 2006 Bar Hillel philosophy of science prize for his work on the relationship between science and technology. He is a member of the board of the lifeboat foundation and was the editor of several high-profile science and technology websites since 1999.

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