The efforts of some industry names to differentiate their products sometimes lead to curious ideas. The most recent example comes from the always in vogue Xiaomi: the company has registered a patent with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for a smartphone with a solar panel.
The patent was discovered by the Dutch website LetsGoDigital which, based on the diagrams provided by Xiaomi for patent documentation, created sketches that give us a sense of the look that the device could have.
If Xiaomi launched a smartphone based on these diagrams, the device would have a photovoltaic panel occupying most of the rear, but positioned just below the camera module. The idea here is obvious: to allow the user to recharge the cell phone battery using solar energy.
Theoretically, all the person would need to do would be to position the smartphone with the rear facing towards sunlight to start charging. For how long? This is one of several open questions.
Although the idea is interesting, it is far from being new. Just to give an example, Samsung launched in 2009 a cell phone called E1107 Crest Solar which, as the name implies, had this feature.
But the idea has not gone ahead because it is not viable – at least not yet. Here is one of the limitations: it is assumed that a panel with these dimensions would require several hours to generate a minimally decent percentage of recharge.
In addition, a system like this should bring additional safety concerns to prevent, for example, the charging mechanism from increasing the risk of battery overheating.
Therefore, it is advisable not to maintain high expectations regarding a smartphone with a solar panel for the near future. It is quite likely that Xiaomi registered the patent just to have a grip on the idea.
So far, the company has given no sign that it intends to launch a cell phone based on this proposal.
With information: Android Authority.