Solar powered devices have been around for quite some time and it appears that Apple is now finding it fit to enter the market with a future MacBook that is capable of charging itself via a solar panel built into the display. it's an interesting idea, and we're curious to see if the company can pull off such a feat without making it come off as nothing more but a gimmick.
Apple has been granted a patent, which is called "Electronic device display module," which describes a type of display which works similar to any other laptop screen. However, on the back lies the solar panel for keeping the computer charged up.
The solar section of the display is made of electrochromic glass, which is also known as smart glass, according to Apple Insider.
This types of glass is capable of blocking or allowing light to pass through by altering its opacity. Furthermore, multiple layers could be placed on a single display, each highlighting different information. For example, one layer could showcase the device or company logo, while the other allows for touch input to manipulate objects on the screen.
In many ways, this idea is similar to several Windows 8 hybrid laptops available today. The main difference here, however, would be the solar panel inside the display.
What Apple is doing here sounds like a good idea for an actual product, but we don't think the Cupertino giant would consider releasing a MacBook with these capabilities. If you take a look at most Windows 8 hybrids, they are arguably always thicker and heavier when compared to the latest MacBook from Apple. And this is the reason why we don't see Apple sacrificing design for features.
The company has never pulled off such a move before, and we don't expect it to happen anytime soon.
This isn't the first time Apple has landed a patent regarding solar. Last October, the USPTO published an Apple patent application that described a way of adding solar panel converters to computer devices.