The sun could soon be charging your phone

Smartphones, tablets, laptops and notebooks: we live in a world dominated by smart mobile devices. While the world may be a better connected place, users are united by a common gripe: battery life, or rather the lack of it.

Could solar power be the answer? One French company, Sunpartner Technologies, have developed solar technology – which they call ‘What you see is photovoltaic surface’ or Wysips.

According to the company, Wysips is « based on assembling a thin, photovoltaic surface with a network of micro-lenses » which they say ensures the cells are « invisible to the naked eye. » As soon as they are exposed to light, the photovoltaic cells are activated, and begin to charge or power up whatever device they are attached to.

« Sunpartner Technologies developed the Wysips technology to bring photovoltaic transparent and invisible solutions to produce a source of energy closer to the consumer, » Ludovic Deblois, president of Sunpartner Technologies, told CNBC’s Sustainable Energy.

How does the system work?

« The Wysips technology is made of two parts, » Franck Aveline, Sunpartner’s R&D director, said. « One which is transforming light into energy, and an optical lens which makes the photovoltaic film invisible for the user. »

The company’s Wysips Crystal technology can be integrated on to mobile devices – cell phones and e-readers, for example – during the manufacturing process.

Sunpartner say that if a battery runs out of juice on the go, users can hold their screen up to a light source and recharge the phone, with « full self-sufficiency » possible for models that consume less energy: e-readers and cheaper cell phones, for example.

Another feature developed by the company includes what they call Li-Fi. « Li-Fi is a data transmission technology where the light is a ‘data vector’, » Aveline said.

« Our Wysips component, as well as producing energy, senses this information, » he added. « For example, if I move my mobile under a coded light it starts a video on it. »

Earlier this year, Sunpartner raised 8.8 million euros ($9.64 million) in equity for the large scale production of its components.

« We are today beginning… production and the first commercial products will be sold next year, » Deblois said.

Link : CNBC