Charging gadgets is not only an inconvenience, it's a drain on our resources and environment. Various solar chargers have been around for a while now, but they're either bulky and awkward or too expensive to be practical. Luckily, there may be an improved option for getting off the grid and into the sun in the near future - Motorola was just awarded a sweet patent for putting a solar-cell underneath an LCD on a mobile device, allowing it to show a display and recharge simultaneously.
In the past, solar cells on have taken up valuable space that would otherwise be used for a caller ID screen on the outside of a flip phone. This may also help solve the problem of short battery life in today's slim but power-hungry phones.
In the patent, Motorola notes monochrome LCDs as optimal for this setup, passing up to 75% of light. It is still too early to see if this will go anywhere, and Motorola is not the first to have thought of this killer combo, but the patent is a big step forward in the process.
written by Dave, May 18, 2007
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