French start-up comes up with self-charging photovoltaic cell phone screens

If solar cells can power street light, cars or even complete buildings then why can’t our mobile devices, which struggle the most, use the most abundant resource bestowed upon us. This noble idea has been tried by a few cell phone manufactures in the past but it sadly it never took off, who likes an ugly looking solar panel on the back cover anyways. But a French start-up called The SunPartner Group has come up with a unique technology named Wysips (What You See Is Photovoltaic Surface). They have built a low-cost transparent film that can be put over the screen of a smartphone and will charge the phone.

There are researchers who are trying to come up with transparent solar cells, but SunPartner uses lower tech which equals to lower price and higher market reach. The current prototype is 82% transparent but the company plans to achieve 90% transparency. The film won’t completely replace wall chargers but could add up to 20% more battery life on normal use and if the phone is idling it’ll never run out of juice in normal daylight. The start-up is in talks with three mobile manufacturing companies and reportedly Nokia is one of them. It’ll take just US$ 2.30 to put one of these photovoltaic cells on a phone. Check out the graphic below to understand how it works.


[Via – Ieee]