See-Through Solar Power Screen

Now here's an incredible idea: A super-thin transparent screen coating for smartphones that could continuously top off your battery with solar power.

The technology is coming out of a small company called Wysips, which has perfected a transparent coating less than 100 microns deep that captures enough energy from the sun to generate electrical power. It relies on the application of super-thin strips of photovoltaic cells laid down on a display screen, and then a precise layer of cylindrical lenticular lenses deposited on top. Light from the display exits through the lenses undistorted into a viewer's eyes, but incoming solar energy is focused onto the PV cells, where it generates electricity.

According to the company's president, it's possible to design a transparent smartphone touchscreen that can charge a typical phone battery in around six hours of direct illumination outside, or longer under inside lighting conditions (due to different intensity in lighting, and differing amounts of IR and UV radiation in the light). A next-gen prototype is due next year that's powerful enough to give 30 minutes of talk time from an hour of charging.

Source: fastcompany.comAdded: 28 March 2011