Xiaomi is one of the largest and most advanced companies in the world, so it is quite normal to expect quite innovative smartphone prototypes. That said, the patent presented by the Chinese brand and found online today is truly one of the most unique of those seen in recent months.
As we can see in the image below resumed from the Dutch site LetsGoDigital in the WIPO patent database (World Intellectual Property Office), this elusive Xiaomi device would be equipped with a decidedly alternative charging technology.
Xiaomi patents a smartphone with an integrated solar panel
Oh yes, we're talking about a real solar panel that seems to have been integrated into the back cover of the smartphone. The solar panel occupies approximately 70% of the rear surface and is positioned just below the two cameras in a vertical position. Although the design seems a bit obsolete as there are only two sensors and not the three that we now find on the mid and top of the Xiaomi range, the terminal would still have a fingerprint sensor on the screen, or at least that's what the lack of a fingerprint sensor on the back.
Xiaomi would not actually be the first brand to launch a device with an integrated solar panel. Already in 2009 in fact, Samsung is launching the E1107 Crest Solar, an old-style phone with a panel to be used for about 10 minutes after an hour of charging, so not really a convenient conversion; useful only in emergency situations. Next, in the 2010, LG with its Pop GD510 brought a "smartphone" with an 3 inch screen and an optional cover equipped with a solar panel to be able to call for two minutes after about 10 minutes of charging; also not a great success here.
Since then, however, we have not seen any progress in the application of solar panels integrated on the smartphone and this is probably due to several reasons:
- The power produced by solar energy is directly proportional to the area in the panel. If the area of the solar panel is not large enough, the generated current will be too little and hardly accumulated by the smartphone.
- The smartphone charging methods are generally based on a constant current flow. However, a solar panel is not capable of producing a constant current with intensity (Ampere) and constant voltage (Volt).
- Modern batteries use lithium ions. The temperatures of lithium ion batteries are very influenced by the temperature and should be in a range that goes from 25 to 40 degrees to function optimally. Solar panel charging would certainly increase the temperature, just because we should leave the smartphone in direct sunlight.
So, in conclusion, although Xiaomi has filed this patent, it is most likely a design that we will never see in the real world. Or yes? What do you think about it? Let us know in the comments section below!