According to the Apple aficionado site MacRumors.com, Apple is looking into powering handheld devices and portable computers with solar panels.
The report describes a recent patent application that illustrates fitting solar panels behind a device’s LCD screen. Adding solar power to mobile devices could extend battery life significantly, but one of the major challenges has been how to fit the panels into devices without compromising the device size.
What makes Apple’s patent application so enticing is the plausible fix to the problem of where to put the panels. According to the report, the solar panel would absorb ambient light as it passes through the device’s LCD screen. Another benefit could be that products such as Apple’s iPhone would not need a major redesign to incorporate solar power.
Of course, the report also points out that while this technique could solve some issues around using solar power, it is not exactly new – Motorola filed a similar patent idea as early as 2001.