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There's never a dock connector cable around when you need one. Alternately, many of us have been faced with the frustration of having one on hand, but no computer or wall socket to plug it into, leaving our precious iOS devices to die from a lack of power after a long day away from our Macs. Fortunately, thanks to a new patent awarded to Apple this week, the days of figuring out how to charge our iPods and iPhone away from home could be coming to an end.
According to Patently Apple, The US Patent and Trademark Office has awarded everyone's favorite Cupertino-based tech giant with their first patent for powering portable devices with solar energy. Where most solar-powered devices utilize a solar panel to merely charge a battery, Apple has developed a system that would allow for a mobile device such as an iPad, iPhone or even a MacBook to operate off of solar energy whenever it becomes available; powering the device off of a battery or a wall socket only when absolutely necessary.
Given the focus that Apple has placed upon improving their image as an environmentally responsible corporate entity over the past few years, we speculate that as soon as the company's engineers sort out a way to integrate solar panels into their hardware without sacrificing the device's overall aesthetics, we'll see the patent put to good use.
Follow this article's author, Seamus Bellamy on Twitter