When the iPhone 7 launches, it may never need to be recharged

The firm was recently granted a US patent for solar panel technology hidden beneath touch-sensitive surfaces.

Apple has also been rumored to be replacing the circular home button with a Force Touch ID display on upcoming devices

Sources say Apple could be planning to embed solar cells beneath its touchscreens, according to a new patent.

According to reports, the firm was recently granted a US patent for solar panel technology hidden beneath touch-sensitive surfaces, like those used in a Macbook trackpad, iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch display.

According to the patent filing, the hidden solar panel would recharge the device throughout the day, sources reveal.

Unfortunately, the Apple patent is very vague about the technology – which could provide a welcome battery boost to the firm's group of power-hungry devices.

Reports also say solar cells could also be used in Apple's range of desktop peripherals, including the battery-reliant wireless Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad and keyboard, the patent reveals.

The technique is not new, after all, watchmakers have been using solar panels in watch faces to extend battery life for decades.

Apple explains in the US patent: "The wireless device has a touch sensor and a solar cell that converts ambient light into electrical power.

"Wireless communications circuitry transmits the touch input to the external equipment using the electrical power from the solar cell. Energy storage devices such as a capacitor and a battery can be charged using the electrical power."

A solar power cell, placed within the bezel, could be an brilliant solution to the current one-day-only iPhone battery life.

Its worth noting that Apple has a habit of patenting each and every one of its inventions.


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