There are more details coming out over the Wysips Solar Powered screen for smartphones we reported on last week. According to this hands on, done by Laptop Magazine, the photovoltaic screen will be included in new smartphones within a year and promises to only add about $1 to existing cellphone prices. The hands on shows a smartphone mockup with an amp-meter attached to it, showing the fluctuating voltage as the device moves in and out of exposed light. Wysips also says that the solar film isn't only being developed for for smartphones, it'll have applications for tablets and eBook readers as well.
As mentioned in our article last week, portable solar chargers are always a mixed bag since the sun moves in the sky and often you have to babysit your charger to keep it in the sunlight. However, the ability of this 100 micron film to leach power from sunlight and indoor lighting sources, makes it quite attractive. Also, the ability to lay it on top of the screen and still enjoy multi-touch is a breakthrough. And it's encouraging that Wysips waited until they got it truly mature and functioning (note the ammeter jumping in the video) before bringing it out to the light of day.
And the notion of this technology being mature enough to get into the pipeline of most smartphones within a year is great news. But the promise of it only adding $1 to the price seems out of this world for such a cutting edge spin on the technology. Still, the price point may only be referring to the photovoltaic parts themselves and not the actual design R&D costs. But if this gets incorporated industry wide, it would still be an extremely small price to pay for it's impact.