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Light Powered Screens May Keep Your Gadgets Always Charged

Photovoltaic SurfacePhotovoltaic Surface

When dealing with mobile technologies such as cellphones, the battery issue is one we've been dealing with for a long time. As technology advances, we get more powerful devices, but the battery tech doesn't keep up. So even though an early cellphone from a decade ago could stay on for over a week, now we're lucky if our smartphones last a day. So it's no surprise that many inventors are trying to change that.

One group may just have achieved a breakthrough in this field. SunPartner Group is a French company that came up with a technology called Wysips, which is a small layer of photovoltaic substances plastered on top of a screen. These crystals can capture not only sun light but also any type of light, even artificial. And because the crystals themselves are transparent, they can be placed on top or under a screen. In essence, your smartphone screen is also a solar array, constantly recharging your battery.

Of course one criticism of solar power is how slow it can be to generate power, but SunPartner has managed to get up to 4 minutes of battery power for every 10 minutes of light exposure. This could basically give you unlimited charge time for your mobile devices, without any need to do anything different. Already, the company has started to work with TCL Communication, a smartphone OEM manufacturer, to create prototypes so the technology can be tested in the field.

The technology itself is fairly simple. When exposed to sunlight, the crystals that compose this thin layer can produce up to 2.5mW per cm2. This is for 90% transparent materials, suitable for being placed on a screen. Another option is a 60% to 70% transparent layer which can produce up to 10mW per cm2. Needless to say, if this technology pans out, the mobile devices of the future may no longer have any battery problem. The first prototypes are expected to arrive next year, possibly by Alcatel One Touch/