One of the most pressing problems smartphone users have these days is the battery life. We’ve seen a lot of addons, tricks, and gimmicks that aim to extend our smartphone’s active use. Manufacturers are also trying to either cram bigger and bigger batteries or include battery saving modes in their devices. Kyocera is attacking the problem from a slightly different angle. At MWC next week, it will reveal a prototype smartphone that, besides being rugged, also include solar charging capabilities at almost no extra cost.
Solar charging isn’t exactly new to smartphones but almost all of them involve bulky cases. Kyocera, however, will be integrating it into the smartphone itself. Not on the back, which is almost always covered, but on the display panel itself. How can that happen? By utilizing a Wysips Crystal panel produced by SunPartner Technologies.
SunPartner doesn’t go into details on how the technology works but describes the benefits of Wysips Crystal for mobile devices. Obviously, it means that, in case of low battery, you don’t have to scramble for a wall socket or even reach out for your power bank. All you need to do is let it soak in some light, natural or otherwise. But putting the solar charging components on top might induce some worries, which SunPartner is trying to dispel. First, the component sits beneath the touch screen to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with touch sensitivity. It is also 90 percent transparent so it doesn’t affect the phone’s design or viewing angles.
As they say, however, the proof of the pudding is in the eating and we’ll have to see how these promises hold up in the real world. Kyocera will be doing just that by showing a modified Torque smartphone with the Wysips Crystal component inside. Mind you, this is the 2013 version of the Torque and not the newly announced 4G enabled TORQUE for European markets, though that will also be present at MWC 2015.