British Scientist Puts Solar Cells Behind an OLED Screen; Are Our Battery Woes Soon to be Over?

British Scientist Puts Solar Cells Behind an OLED Screen; Are Our Battery Woes Soon to be Over?

Jan 20, 2012

A British scientist may have figured out just how to cure our pesky battery woes. Or, at least it’s a start. See, he figured out how to put solar energy cells behind an OLED screen in a way that utilizes the space taken by wasted light of these screens. So, the cells in these spaces are instead taking in new energy from the sun, which can be used to power the phone. It’s literally brilliant. With future optimization, it could be something that would potentially be able to supply most of the power for a phone, just from the sun. Of course, there is the whole issue of actually seeing the screens in the sun! Also, it’s ironic that a British researcher came up with it – isn’t it perpetually cloudy there? I mean, when I was hanging out with friends from England at San Diego Comic-Con, they were complaining about the heat, which was about 80 degrees – that’s cold to me! It’s ridiculous. No wonder we rebelled. Maybe if this technology becomes widespread in the future of the phones, we’ll be cool again…

Also, for those of us who spend a lot of time inside, producing fine content for our wonderful and sexy readers, sunlight charging doesn’t really do much.

Source: ExtremeTech

PowerSkin Review

PowerSkin Review

Jul 26, 2011

These days, I’m getting more usage out of my Droid X than ever before, and it’s all thanks to a gadget called PowerSkin — a rugged, soft-silicone casing with a built-in battery pack that keeps your phone charged while keeping it safe from abrasions and sudden impacts.

Prior to using the PowerSkin, I was getting about 10 – 12 hours of battery life before needing to scramble for a power-outlet. Depending on usage, some days I’d get much less than that. In the best usage case scenario, I was on vacation a few weeks ago, shooting pictures, texting, tweeting, making a few short phone calls, using the GPS and looking up information online. Even while using maximum power saver mode, the battery only lasted about 8 hours. That’s pretty good for how heavily I was using it, but it was still stone cold dead long before we were done having fun. With the PowerSkin, I’m certain it would have lasted much longer.

Despite its awesome power, one downside to the PowerSkin is that it’s very bulky, almost doubling the thickness of the phone while adding a little more weight. The overall width is also increased. In a way, this is a good thing, because it means the case will absorb plenty of shock energy during an impact. However, this is also an annoyance; I had a tough enough time slipping the phone in and out of my jeans’ pocket before PowerSkin; with PowerSkin, forget it. My other concern is that the lip at the top of the case doesn’t extend over the front of the phone enough to hold it in place during an impact. This is the one area where the case seems to have the least amount of grip on the phone, and while I don’t think it’ll pop out, it bothers me that it could.

Finally, it’s great that you don’t have to remove the phone to charge the PowerSkin, but I’ve discovered an odd behavior. While charging the PowerSkin with the phone inside, if the phone’s battery is low enough to draw external power, it constantly behaves as though you are inserting and removing the power cable every second. I don’t like this, at all. It seems to take much longer to charge both devices and I’m concerned that it might damage something to continually go through that cycle. As such, I’ve gotten into the habit of charging the devices separately if they are each significantly drained. Otherwise, I charge the PowerSkin with the phone inside without any problems.

Regardless of these minor issues, I find that I’m very pleased with the performance of the PowerSkin. Compared to other external power devices I’ve purchased, the PowerSkin outperforms them all. I get the security of a rugged, good looking case without the need to carry any additional peripherals. Because of that, I highly recommend the PowerSkin to anyone looking to get more use out of their phone.

For more information on the PowerSkin, and to see if one is available for your phone, simply visit