Wysips Solar Film Recharges Mobile Phones
Solar-powered mobile phones may be hitting the market sooner than you think. A French tech company, Wysips, has developed a phone with a screen that charges up its battery just by absorbing surrounding light. No chargers, no wires. Find out how it works and when you can get one.
Wysips and the solar film
French startup company Wysips unveiled its innovation that is attracting lots of attention. It developed a transparent photovoltaic film that's incorporated into the phone's LCD screen. The "solar film" acts like a miniature solar panel.
It absorbs surrounding light, whether natural or artificial, to provide the device with about 250mW of power. Wysips' product could charge around 15% of a device's daily battery power. No need for external chargers or wires to connect it to anything. It charges up without you having to do anything.
Why is this innovative?
Solar chargers aren't new, and several manufacturers are already selling them on the market, such as the X-Dragon Solar Power Bank. But these are all clunky, external devices. Nobody likes carrying around extra equipment in their pocket or handbag when out and about.
Power charges or power mats, regardless of whether they're solar-powered or not, adds more weight to your clothes and restricts your movement. They're also at risk of being broken or lost. Since the phone by Wypisis acts as its own charger, you have one less thing to carry around with you when meeting up with friends or going to work.
Will the solar film make my phone heavier, dimmer or less tactile?
Since the solar film Wysips uses is extremely thin, only 0.1mm (or 100 microns), you wouldn't even notice it's there.
The solar film doesn't disrupt the aesthetics of modern phones, so your screen will stay just as bright as it's supposed to. It's then texture also makes it compatible with all touch-screen phones. Your phone's touch-sensitivity will remain the same.
How long would it take to charge my mobile phone?
Wysips says that, in direct sunlight, it takes about six hours to charge your average smartphone. It would take longer indoors if only exposed to artificial light.
However, the developers hope that the second-gen version should be able to give phone users 30 minutes of use for every hour of charge. They anticipate that future versions will charge the mobile device so fast so that it will remain charged almost indefinitely.
Wysips has developed the solar film jointly with SunPartner, which manufactures the glass sheet. It's also a collaboration with 3M, which created the self-adhesive window film required to secure it to the LCD screens.
Will it be expensive?
Wysips states that its solar film will add just a dollar to the cost of a phone. So if the technology is cheap to reproduce, the mobile phone will be affordable to purchase. That's why it's likely to be adopted universally by all mobile phone tech companies as it's compatible with all types of models.
Can light power other devices?
The Solar film from Wysips is not limited to mobile phones. It can also be used in tablets, such as the iPad, Kindle devices and other e-readers. The key benefit to these compared to mobile phones is that they have bigger screens. The bigger the screen, the bigger the solar film and the quicker it can be charged.
With Wysips' solar film, these devices would likely never need to be charged, given that you can only read it when there's enough light to do so.
When will it go on sale?
Mobile phones with solar-powered screens are not available yet. Wysips' optimism to launch its sale on the market by 2012 didn't come to fruition. The product still seems to be in development and in search firm client commitment, meaning that there is no clear release date currently in sight.
It's worth noting, however, that another manufacturer, Caviar, has launched the iPhone X Tesla, a solar-powered mobile phones with an integrated solar panel at the back of the phone. Its model with 64GB of storage costs £3,730 while the 256GB model costs £3,935. You can even purchase one on Caviar's website.
Where is Wysips headed with its solar film?
Wypsips has high hopes to dominate Li-Fi technology for mobile phones. It would allow users' phones to receive information via light, i.e. through light waves, as opposed to Wi-Fi, which uses radio waves.
Mobile phones with Li-Fi could open up a video or website by just placing it under a particular light that has been configured to send that information. The most significant benefit of Li-Fi is that speeds are much faster than Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It would allow you to browse the internet, listen to music or watch videos, even in places where Wi-Fi coverage is low or nonexistent.
Shops could use it to send vouchers or invitations to customers when they place their phone under a beam of light.
We await to see when and on what phones these solar films will be available to buy in the market.