Researcher Creates Prototype Device With Solar Cells In The Display – Self Sustaining Smartphones Are Almost Upon Us


Solar powered smartphones… Now why didn’t I ever think of that? Oh wait- I did. And I’m sure we all have at some point. But let’s be realistic, just how often do you spend your time actually outside in the sunlight? 3? Maybe 4 minutes of the day? The rest of your time is spend underneath the cold, harsh fluorescent lights of your office or work place.

But wouldn’t it be something if a phone could charge itself? That’s exactly what Arman Ahnood was thinking when he came up with a prototype device that uses solar cells to capture wasted energy emitted from OLEDs that light up a device’s display.

While 100% self sustaining power is still quite a ways off, Ahnood’s method is able to capture the light from a phone’s display with a 11-18% efficiency. This results in around 5 milliwatts of extra power with given a device with a 3.7-inch screen size. Just imagine what could be extracted from your Galaxy Nexus? Okay, so it wouldn’t be much but 20 or so minutes of extra battery life is always welcomed.

[IeeeSpectrum via Engadget]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

Namco Bandai Says Freemium Games Are Hurting High Quality Titles – Gives Consumers Unrealistic Pricing Expectations

Previous article

Android Overload: Desire HD Receives Android 2.3.5 Update, Sony LT22i Nypon Benchmarked and More

Next article

You may also like


  1. Motorola has patented something similar already, long time ago.

    1. Sounds like another patent lawsuit then… =/

      1. Larry, it is something more than patenting rounded corners of an iPad.

  2. It all starts somewhere. This may not be a big deal now, but it is a tempting premonition of what is to come.

  3. Self sustaining power!? What is this, 1850? Perpetual motion machines? Never gonna happen.

    1. they said the titanic would NEVER sink

      1. You idiot, the Titanic did sink

        1. Wow…

        2. Nuh uh… really? I don’t believe you… /sigh

        3. You’re the idiot, Chumby69.

      2. The CIA sunk it back in the day

  4. Add some thermocells to convert cpu, battery or even body heat into electricity…. someday.

  5. i got a scosche solar powered backup battery, works good.

    saved my ass once already, paid for itself.

  6. I hope its appearance isnt as obnoxious as the picture suggests cuz thats ugly as sh**.

  7. Maybe if they outlawed cell phone usage in cars, people would save battery life.  Tired of morons that cant talk and drive at the same time.

  8. This is old news chuck Norris already has the only one.

  9. No one has a comment on how little power you can get out of a cell this size relative to the power cell phone’s consume? I don’t leave my cell phone outside my pocket unless it is inside so it is going to be considerably less than 100W/m^2 (normal solar cell output from outside).  A cell phone is around 0.0075 m^2 so you get 0.75 W at best.  This is outside with a cell designed for solar power only.  I don’t know what they can get on a cell that has to support transparency from light the other direction and a touch sensitive layer, but it’s gotta be a lot less.  Don’t expect much out of this technology.

  10. @Chumby, he clearly was saying that they said it wouldn’t but it did… Don’t call people an idiot without knowing what you’re talking about first.

    No, the solar power wouldn’t be very practical because the phone would be in our pockets most of the time while outside, but it would be great in an emergency

  11. While it may sound like a bit to put in a device for a small return, It’s a good start for the future and every little bit helps!

  12. I’m a student so no not 3-4 minutes lol. I go out everyday so this is a big +.

  13. 5mah is not gonna get you 20 mins. 20 mins of standby, yeah. 

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in News