Most of us are waiting on the edge of our seats for MWC, where the Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 are expected to debut. With all the excitement these two anticipated flagships are building, it’s easy to forget that there are a lot of other players showing off the goods at MWC. One of these players is Kyocera, which is partnering up with SunPartner to bring a smartphone to MWC that is capable of charging via sunlight.
Unlike HTC, Samsung and many of the other phone makers that will be showcasing their products at MWC, Kyocera’s device isn’t aimed at immediate release and is instead a special prototype based on the rather old, ruggedized Kyocera Torque. The modified Torque utilizes a special technology called Wysips Crystal, which basically combines photovoltaic technology and optical technology, resulting in a product that can charge using both natural and artificial light. Even better, the modules used to make it all happen are flexible, invisible (placed below the touchscreen) and measure in at only .5mm.
Not a lot of details about how quickly the modified Torque will be able to recharge with the power of the sun or how much power the system will provide, but there’s certainly some real potential here. We can especially see this tech coming in handy for those times when you aren’t near a charger and just need enough juice to make a quick call, send a text, and so forth. Of course, here’s to hoping the first phone to utilize the tech is a bit more impressive than the current prototype, which is based on a two-year old low-end handset. For what it is worth, Sunpartner says they wish to push the technology into other OEM devices in the near future, though it’s unclear if that’s just a blanket statement or if they are already cooking up relationships with specific OEMs.
What do you think, like the idea of smartphones including solar charging as a built-in feature?