One obstacle limiting mobile device convenience for travelers has been the need to carry an electrical charger to recharge the battery after every few hours of calling time. While solar panel battery chargers have previously been developed, they have thus far been larger, expensive devices requiring several hours of sun to power and then a stationery recharging process no more convenient than electrical chargers.
The good news, according to several mobile phone blogs, is that the French company Wysips, a subsidiary of SunPartner SAS, has announced a new prototype for a transparent, flexible photo cell that can fit under the lens of a mobile phone or personal digital assistant (PDA) without interfering with the touch screen. The photo cell will be able to solar charge the phone or palm device while still in motion and use. The bonus is that each little replaceable photo cell charger is expected to cost about $1, which the mobile experts describe as a "game changer" that would likely render current electrical devices obsolete and make cell phones "self-sufficient."
The Wysips solar panel is described as a device that can produce enough milliwatt energy from daylight use to fully charge a mobile phone device within six hours. The prototype was the winner of an "Emerging Technology Award" in the category of "Green Telecom and Smart Energy Solutions" at the March 2011 CTIA Wireless Convention in Orlando. Wysips said it plans to bring the solar panel charger to the U.S. market sometime in 2012, but it is expected to have competition. Apple has reportedly applied for multiple patents in the development stage of solar charges that it is creating.
To view a two-minute YouTube video on the new Wysips solar panel charger click here.