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Your next Motorola phone could well reduce your power bill following the awarding to Motorola of a patent that allows a phone to be charged by light.

Motorola has received a patent for LCD that can display images as well as create energy.  Patent 7,206,044 was granted on April 17th 2007 and outlines the company’s “Display and Solar Cell Device”.  The new displays could increase run times in future mobile phones and Motorola claims the displays could even eliminate the need for conventional charging.


The displays use embedded color filters that allow sunlight to reach the underlying solar cell.  Motorola claims this technique transmits light 75% better than traditional screens that use polarizing and reflective layers.  According to the patent, normal screens only let 6% of sunlight through to the bottom layer.

Other companies have tried putting solar cells in addition to a display, but modern mobile phones have very little surface real estate to spare.  Motorola says its new technique wastes no space because the display can serve a “parallel purpose” as a light collecting device for the solar cell.

Motorola claims OLED displays can also benefit from color filters and solar cells.

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