Charging your laptop may soon be as easy as sitting in the sun, as Apple has been awarded a patent for a new solar-powered MacBook. Still just a novel idea, a small solar panel affixed to the back of the laptop, where the Apple logo is currently placed, could generate the energy required to run the machine. If the company runs with the new patent, Apple fans could soon use their laptops in remote locations without plugging into the grid.
MacBook users around the world are just about powerless without an outlet – unless they live in solar-powered homes. U.S. patent no. 8,638,549 could change all that.
The dual display MacBook would look like regular MacBooks, except it would be backed with a plate made up of laminated layers similar to the dual-glass technology used in the iPhone 4. The layers could either house touch panels accessible when the laptop is closed, or host solar cells.
The photovoltaic cells could be used to produce green energy for the laptop. Working for an just an hour in the sun could produce sufficient energy to keep the MacBook running. Although still merely a patent at this stage, a solar-powered MacBook or even iPhone would be an amazing step in sustainability that would also allow Apple’s customers even more freedom.