Solar Powered Laptop

written by Elizabeth Gearhart, Ph.D., patent agent at Gearhart Law
www.gearhartlaw.com

Apple has finally done it! At least we hope this technology works out. They’ve invented a solar-powered MacBook. They’ve even been issued a patent for it:

US Patent # 8,638,549, “Electronic device display module.”

You can view the patent on the USPTO website:

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8638549.PN.&OS=PN/8638549&RS=PN/8638549

Click on ‘images’ and then ‘full pages’ to see a full pdf of the patent.

In a nutshell, the patent describes an electrochromic glass plate for the lid that covers the display screen. Between the two would be photovoltaic cells to collect light and convert it to energy. The patent states that the energy collected from light may be used to either power the device directly or to power the device battery.

Some bloggers have pointed out that a glass laptop is a bit risky. That may be, but I think this is a great advance in technology. Imagine our troops in Afghanistan using these, or people in countries that aren’t advanced enough to have ready access to electricity. I say Bravo to Apple and I can hardly wait to try one!

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