Turning mobile screens into solar chargers

A transparent photovoltaic film developed by Wysips can be applied to the screen of a mobile phone, enabling the display to function as a solar charger.

The technology could play a role in providing a more sustainable experience for users of mobile devices, who are increasingly conscious of the power requirements and environmental impact of the products they use.

However, Wysips will face considerable user experience challenges: for instance, many devices are stored in pockets away from sunlight, or use displays which are difficult to read in direct light. Both factors could limit the utility of screen-based photovoltaic charging.

There will be further exploration of how to express sustainable values in the mobile user experience as part of Pathway #7 at the next MEX on 4th/5th May 2011 in London.

See also a previous MEX essay on this subject, entitled: ‘Expressions of sustainable experience‘.

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    I’ve done some quasi-ethnographic observation and some participatory design in countries like Burkina Faso and Ghana. I’ve seen people using solar powered phones. Main problem with using it in real life is that people would need to leave the phone exposed to solar light (or so they perceive). This means also leaving the phone exposed to thieves (e.g. on a windowsill). Technology is there. it’s the context that make it fail…

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