Apple Gets Patent For Solar-Powered Mobile Devices - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Devices

Apple Gets Patent For Solar-Powered Mobile Devices

The patent filing may portend that future iPhones and iPads use solar power to extend battery life.

Top 10 Apple Stories Of 2010
(click image for larger view)
Slideshow: Top 10 Apple Stories Of 2010

Apple has received a patent for a solar power system for mobile devices, a possible solution for keeping iPhone and iPad batteries charged for longer periods.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded patent number 7,868,582 Tuesday. Apple originally filed for patent in February 2009.

Solar panels have been used as an energy source for recharging batteries in consumer electronics for some time. The latest patent is an indication that Apple is at least interested in developing its own technology. The company already has three other patents related to solar-powered devices, according to Patently Apple, a site that tracks Apple's patent pursuits.

Receiving a patent does not necessarily lead to an Apple product. The secretive company doesn't discuss future product plans. Apple's current mobile devices, particularly the iPhone and iPad, could certainly benefit from any device that could recharge a battery when a wall outlet is not easily accessible. Battery life in the devices is measured in hours when in use.

The latest patent is for a system that could be used in an external charger or for one embedded in a mobile devices, which could be a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or some other gadget. The heart of the invention is a voltage converter that would convert solar power into an energy source capable of recharging a battery.

Apple would not be the first to tap the sun's energy to recharge an iPhone and iPad. Third-party external chargers exist today. One of the newest is from Dexim. The charger has two solar panels that feed a battery in the device. A plugged-in iPhone would be charged from the battery, not directly from the solar panels. Dexim demonstrated the device at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nev., this month.

Other vendors that make solar-powered chargers for the iPhone include Solio, Solar, and Lenmar.

SEE ALSO:

CES 2011: Portable And Solar Power Solutions To Keep iPhones Running Longer

CES 2011: Technocell Boosts Your Batteries

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Slideshows
What Digital Transformation Is (And Isn't)
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/4/2019
Commentary
Watch Out for New Barriers to Faster Software Development
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  12/3/2019
Commentary
If DevOps Is So Awesome, Why Is Your Initiative Failing?
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  12/2/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll