It seems that Apple has a solution to this problem, at least on paper, a paper endorsed by the U.S. Patent Office. The patent, entitled "Integrated touch sensor and a system of solar energy" describes a solution that could be integrated in the display unit. The system would consist of elements that would collect solar energy and still register touch. Once the system registers a touch of the finger, it would automatically switch to touch mode; after a period of inactivity it would begin to collect solar energy again.
Although the patent was probably registered to forestall competition, it will be interesting to see this technology in actual devices sometime in the future. Of course the main question is how efficient will this be once it's implemented. We are guessing that it will not be that great, but we can expect at least a small boost for battery on low life in case of emergency.
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