While we have yet to see smartphones with solar-charging batteries, Apple may already be working on sunlight-powered panels for wearable devices. A new report suggests that the company is exploring new technologies, including solar charging, to create a longer lasting battery for its purported iWatch.
According to The New York Times, Apple is considering outfitting the long-rumored smartwatch’s screen with a solar charging layer. This would charge the battery when the gadget is worn in sunlight, although the Times’ report notes that this could be years away from becoming a reality.
Apple has also been testing wireless charging tech that doesn’t involve absorbing power from the sun. The method would involve wireless magnetic induction, which is similar to the cable-free charging available on Nokia’s newer Windows Phone 8 smartphones. Another potential charging solution could involve powering the watch through movement. For instance, swinging your arm could trigger a tiny charging station that would generate power and push it to the watch while you’re walking, the Times reports.
In addition to wireless or solar charging, Apple’s rumored iWatch is expected to feature a curved glass screen. Previous rumors have indicated that the device could run the full version of iOS and feature a slap bracelet design as outlined in one of Apple’s patents, although the company has yet to confirm any information.
The Times’ report surfaces just as talk of a solar-powered iPhone has hit the Web. Seeking Alpha recently wrote that Apple is likely to implement a sapphire glass screen embedded with solar cells on its next iPhone in an effort to increase battery life.