When many young Americans think about solar-powered gadgets their minds are drawn to small, cheap calculators. The solar industry has progressed a long way, however, and now two of the world’s leading electronics manufacturers are considering the use of solar cells in a broad array of electronic devices, according to DigiTimes.
According to the news source, both Apple and Samsung have expressed interest in using organic photovoltaic cells to power mobile devices. While less efficient than more traditional solar panels, this type of solar cell allows for easier integration with small electronic devices.
Samsung has already begun to introduce solar-powered products, including a netbook targeted toward developing regions and two phones that incorporate solar cells as a back-up power system.
The Korea Herald reported in May that the company has put substantial resources into solar energy on the insistence of owner Lee Kun-hee.
CNET reports that Apple also has a strong history of investment in solar power. Though the company has yet to introduce a product using the technology, Apple has filed numerous patents regarding the incorporation of solar cells into device screens and other important systems.