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Next Year, Your Smartphone Might Actually Charge Itself Using Solar Power

Next Year Your Smartphone Might Actually Charge Itself Using Solar Power Innovations


French startup SunPartner Technologies hopes to finally bring to the consumer market its Wysips Crystal technology, which overlays “invisible” solar cells onto the smartphone display. The company claims that Wysips, which stands for “What You See Is Photovoltaic Surface,” can capture energy from any light source, natural and artificial, indoor and outdoor, and convert it at a rate of 15 to 20 percent efficiency. This translates to an additional 1o minutes of talk time for every hour the cells are exposed to light. And the kicker is that the company assures everyone that human eyes won’t even notice the thin layer of solar cells that’s embedded into the touchscreen.

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The material, comprised of photovoltaic crystals, is made invisible through a process that bonds the tiny cells with optical micro-lenses. De Broca says researchers are continually working to refine the technology, noting that in some cases, it may be possible to reach 92 and even 95 percent transparency (Wysips has reached 90 percent). However, the drawback with improving clarity is that doing so requires decreasing the amount of solar cells used. The challenge then is to find the right balance to ensure that the feature works as a useful addition while also not taking away from the user experience.

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