At Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona this week, Kyocera is showing a prototype that turns one of the modern smartphone's biggest battery life liabilities into an asset – a smartphone that incorporates solar power technology into the touchscreen.
According to a Smithsonian Magazine report, Kyocera developed the technology in partnership with SunPartner Technologies and installed it on its Torque smartphone prototype, which was designed for rugged outdoor use.
At less than 0.5 millimeters in thickness and as much as 90% transparency, the screen technology could fit any of today's popular smartphones without inhibiting their users, SunPartner Technologies said in a press release. The component that captures sunlight – called Wysips Crystal – can be installed just below the touchscreen panel of the smartphone, so it doesn't affect the user experience, and feeds the solar energy into the battery.
While the technology may not be strong enough to replace the plug-and-charge smartphone battery, it does mean users could access apps and information on their phones at least for a brief period after the battery has completely died. This could prove critical for emergency situations, though it may be limited to those that occur during the day time.
SunPartner marketing director Matthieu de Broca told Smithsonian that the Wysips Crystal technology can currently generate up to 2.5 milliwatts of power per square centimeter in "typical sunlight conditions," and added that the company aims to reach 4 milliwatts by the end of this year.
At its current capacity, de Broca said 10 minutes of exposure to sunlight could generate 100 minutes of standby use and about two minutes of talk time to a smartphone's battery, according to the report.
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This year’s 2015 MWC event in Barcelona will see InfiNet Wireless showcase a range of class-leading mobile and broadband wireless access (MBWA) solutions for Mobile Operators, including the debut of InfiNet Wireless’s new InfiLink XG series.
I remember the first time I attended 3GSM in Cannes: It was primarily a B2B telecoms trade show and centered on DVB-H, WiMAX, and other technology-centric acronyms. Fast-forward 11 years, and Mobile World Congress (MWC) will be the center of the business world for a couple of days (March 2 to 5).
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