A new patent that was just granted to Apple by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office highlights once again what an innovative company the tech giant is.
The patent is called “Integrated touch sensor and solar assembly” and bears the number 8,368,654 but, so far, we’re not sure in what devices Cupertino plans to integrate such technology. We can only speculate by analyzing the hints. So, judging by what we know so far, based on the description, Apple might want to use the invention to fuel portable electronic devices that sport big power hungry screen.
The concept Apple has come up with is not only revolutionary but it’s also environment friendly. The company probably plans to use the solar cells to actually harvest the energy needed to power the device in the same time as using it as an optical sensor. In order for the technology to be a viable option, the future touch panel’s electrodes will have to be in charge of two distinct processes: capacitive sensing and collecting solar energy.
The future mobile devices, most likely iPads and iPhones, will probably also feature a complex management system that will allow the gadget’s inner “brain” to decide whether or not the produced energy should be forwarded immediately to the device or should be packed away in storage.
The patent in question was filed in September 2008. Michael Nathaniel Rosenblatt, Benjamin Lyon, John Benjamin Filson, Steven Porter Hotelling, Gordon Cameron and Cameron Frazier were credited as inventors.