The French from SunPartner are having a very pragmatic approach to the promising field of transparent solar cells that can be used as a screen cover, charging our phones even while in use and off the grid.
Instead of the complex and expensive projects from the likes of MIT and UCLA that are trying to weave miniature solar cells into the touchscreens themselves, or other projects that harvest the light leaking from OLEDs, SunPartner is just combining traditional with transparent solar cells.
The visible traditional solar stripes are then being hidden vie an add-on cover with numerous lenses that distribute the light in a certain way. Currently the company has achieved 82% transparency, with future prototypes expected to hit 90%. The CEO has been in the Silicon Valley recently, demonstrating the product to the mobile talent there.
Apparently the solution adds about 20% to your battery life with normal usage, and can also power the phone completely when standing by in daylight, thus being gentle on your juicer, no matter how many mAh the manufacturers manage to cram in. SunPartner says that three phone makers have already expressed interest and are working with prototypes of the technology.