Forbes just posted an article about a patent Apple was granted yesterday that paves the way for a solar powered iPhone in which the solar cells will also double as touch screen sensors:
Most of us have used or at least seen solar power calculators. Why not use solar power to augment the battery in a smartphone? Apple has a nice twist on the idea. Yesterday the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple patent number 8,368,654 titled “Integrated touch sensor and solar assembly.” Unlike capacitive panels used to sense touch in today’s phones, the panel proposed in the patent can simultaneously be used for capturing and converting light for energy as well as touch sensing.