In a move that may revolutionize the personal electronics industry, Apple has filed a patent for transparent solar cells for devices such as the iPod.
The solar panels, covering a portion of the front or back of the devices, would allow the media players to operate mostly using power from the sun, reports Patently Apple.
The solar cells could be embedded in the display and click wheel (see image, courtesy Patently Apple).
If one or more of the solar cells is blocked from the sun, the device will switch to another cell for primary power.
The patent would apply to the iPhone and other portable devices, as well as the upcoming Apple Tablet.
In recent weeks, Apple filed a patent application for a system that relies on HomePlug Powerline Networking, which turns ever power outlet in a building into a conduit for data, as well as audio and video.
That move was seen as Apple’s foray into home energy management.