Right now, if your iPhone runs out of juice, your only option is to slap in a third-party battery pack or rush to the nearest USB outlet. In the future, though, you might be able to just lay it out in the sun to soak up some rays, thanks to a prototype solar panel that is completely transparent and thin enough to work with touchscreens.n
The solar panel is made by a French company, and was spotted by Mark Spoonauer over at Laptop Magazine. The layer is only 100 microns deep, yet photosensitive enough to fully juice your iPhone after laying in the sun for just six hours. It’s makers, Wysips, wants to work with Gorilla Glass to integrate the film directly into future glass panels for handsets like the iPhone 4.
I still think it’s unlikely that Apple would ever recommend you lay your iPhone out in direct sunlight when it’s running out of juice, but Cupertino’s certainly toyed with the idea: back in June, we examined a patent for a solar-powered iPhone with invisible collection cells that seems to be forecasting the creation of just such a solar-charging touchscreen.