The smartphone that recharges with the sun, Xiaomi’s patent

Xioami has filed a patent for a smartphone with a photovoltaic panel integrated in the back: here's how it will look

Stop autonomy anxiety with Xiaomi's new patent: the Chinese smartphone manufacturer has in fact patented the phone with a photovoltaic panel on the back, to recharge the battery with solar energy.

The patent is not new at all: it dates back to July 2018. But it was unearthed in the archive of the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO) only a few days ago arousing quite a lot of interest on the net, a sign that the idea of being able to recharge at least in part the battery of the smartphone thanks to the sun likes a lot. Saying goodbye to powerbanks and chargers carried around to avoid being without autonomy in the middle of the day, in fact, is the dream of many. Finally, what's interesting is that from the drawings attached to the patent, it seems that this solar smartphone from Xiaomi is also equipped with other innovative technologies, especially in the front camera department.

How will be the smartphone Xiaomi that charges with the sun

From the drawings attached to the patent we can see a smartphone with a fairly classic design, but with an interesting detail: there is no notch, of any kind, so the front camera is either integrated into the screen (a technology under development, recently shown to the public just by Xiaomi) or is equipped with a pop up mechanism to disappear. But the object of the patent is behind, in the back of the smartphone where a small solar photovoltaic panel is integrated. At the rear, however, there is no fingerprint sensor: will this also be integrated into the display? Finally, the rear photo department: two lenses positioned vertically, with the LED flash in the middle.

Will it ever become reality?

As always it is good to specify when talking about patents: so it is not said that this is a product that will definitely see the light in the future. Many patents are filed and registered only to protect the invention and not to let competitors use it.

In the past, however, something similar was put on the market as the cover with solar cells PCB-100 of LG that, after 10 minutes of exposure to the sun, allowed the smartphone LG Pop GD510 3-inch to make phone calls for another 2 minutes. It was back in 2010 and, since then, the consumption of smartphones has increased significantly but, at the same time, the efficiency of photovoltaic solar cells has also improved. In 2009, however, Samsung presented the (not very smart) E1107 Crest Solar cell phone (better known as Samsung Solar Guru), with a 1.5-inch screen and a solar panel on the back that charged the 800 mAh battery.