Short battery life can often be a bug bear of many smartphone owners since it seems processors get more powerful all the time. We recently told you of Samsung’s plans to provide handsets with an all day battery life. Now we have news of self powering smartphones may not be long away.
Solar power is nothing new and has been around for years, and even in small electronic items such as watches and calculators. But a report on TechRadar is revealing a team of researchers at the University of Cambridge are working on a system that would make that daily charging of your smartphone obsolete.
A prototype device has been built that recaptures wasted light from an OLED screen on a handset, and helps keep the battery topped up with power. According to one of the researchers from the team, only 36 percent of the light that a screen produces is pushed forwards. The rest of the light just escapes around the edges.
The prototype device has a number of solar cells that are made up from thin-film hydrogenated amorphous silicon, which lies within the handsets display. This is coupled with a thin film super capacitor, which evens out any voltage spikes to prevent any damage to the handsets battery.
There are extra cells placed around the edges of the display so any light that is wasted by the screen can be used. A smartphone with a 3.7-inch screen can produce up to five milliwatts of power in this way, but the prototype devices are still a long way from production.
Couple this with the technology we recently told you about that waterproofed your device, the days of charging daily and worrying about water damage may soon be over. Do you think this idea will find its way into our smartphones?