Transparent film powers phone battery

2013-02-26 10:04
A new transparent film is able to charge mobile phone batteries. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

A new transparent film is able to charge mobile phone batteries. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Barcelona - A transparent film that costs just €1($1.30) to make could bring an end to the anguish of mobile phone users facing the dreaded dead-battery message.

Wysips, a start-up based in Aix-en-Provence, southern France, has developed a photovoltaic film which can be built seamlessly into a mobile phone screen and deliver the joy of life to a flat battery.

At the world's biggest mobile fair in Barcelona, Spain, the gadget was luring interest from handset manufacturers and its inventors said they hoped the first mobiles equipped with the Wysips film will be in stores by the end of this year.

Wysips chief executive Ludovic Deblois showed off a prototype of a smartphone equipped with the film at the Mobile World Congress. By just shining a torch on its screen, the mobile's battery icon showed that it had started to recharge.

"With 10 minutes in the sun you will be able to communicate for two minutes. To recharge completely you will have to expose it for six hours, so our technology is not necessarily for a full recharge but rather for an energy boost for specific applications," Deblois said.

"For example, for security if you have to make an emergency call. So if you arrive at the airport and you have your boarding pass on the mobile you can't have a telephone that runs out of battery so you can just put it in the light and recharge it."

Developing regions

Similarly, the film can get mobile phone users out of a fix when batteries go flat just when the time comes to pay a restaurant bill, or buy a train ticket.

But in developing regions it could be even more important, Deblois said.

"The African continent interests us in terms of market because there are more than 500 million people with a mobile telephone but it is a continent that is only 40% electrified, which means people need energy to recharge their telephones," he said.

"And the usage is not the same so the telephone is exposed much more to the sun, so you could even get to complete autonomy of the telephone in that region."

Wysips plans to license the technology to handset manufacturers, who would decide the final price to be paid by consumers. The cost of the film, however, is only about €1 per unit, Deblois said.

After three years of research and development, the prototype is complete and a manufacturing line with a capacity of eight million units is being prepared in Aix-en-Provence to start output in April, he said.

The factory is aimed only at proving that the product can be mass produced, however. Wysips expects handset manufacturers to produce the screens themselves, and it hopes the first such phones will be on the market by the end of 2013.

Later, the new factory will be used to produce similar films for other products. "We are in the midst of developing applications for watches, electronic price tags in supermarkets, and home thermostats," the company chief said.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    mobile  |  renewable energy
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Scots beat Samoa, end Japan's dream
Woodcock's career ended by injury
Major Payne as Ireland lose star centre
As it happened: Samoa 33 Scotland 36
Traffic Alerts

The phrase for today is:”Out of the blue.” Expect the unexpected and work with the changeable energy. Your intuition is more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.