TCL Communication (ALCATEL ONETOUCH and TCL) and Sunpartner Technologies unveiled a smartphone that can recharge itself by light (Wysips Crystal).

Seen for the first time at Mobile World Congress 2014, the smartphone demonstrates the real world effectiveness of this technology to enhance battery lifetime and deliver access to critical handset functions even when the battery is drained.

To date, Wysips Crystal has a maximum yield of 2.5 mW/cm2 with 90% transparency. Potential applications include integration into feature phones or low-end smartphones for developing countries because Wysips Crystal technology can extend battery life by 20% when the device is exposed to natural light.

It also yields usability benefits for developed markets by ensuring that critical applications – calls, texts, remote payment, health applications, e-boarding passes, etc. – are always available.

This smartphone is also available in the Wysips Connect version, which enhances Wysips Crystal by making it Li-Fi (Light Fidelity) compatible. This technology enables the device to simultaneously recharge the battery and transmit data by light waves (VLC- Visible Light Communication) without drawing on the battery.

Dan Dery, Chief Marketing Officer said, "This is a very exciting collaboration, using cutting edge photovoltaic technology to extend the battery life of smartphone devices and to ensure that users always have access to their most critical applications. As consumers become ever more reliant on smartphone technology for all aspects of their daily life, it is essential to investigate and utilize new technologies to deliver and enhance user experience."

Ludovic Deblois, President and Co-founder of Sunpartner Technologies said, "From the beginning we have been driven by the conviction that any surface can be made ‘smart’ through innovative solar technologies. Our Wysips technologies for solar recharging and / or LiFi transmission are mature. They meet the needs of increasingly networked users for always-charged devices, and are leading the trend in connected objects. Thanks to our partnership with TCL Communication, our promise of smart surfaces is now a reality."

This demonstration of the prototype marks the latest step in the companies’ twelve R&D projects integrating Wysips Crystal technology. It is the result of collaboration to position the PV component in an optimal position in the smartphone, to integrate the electronic chip that connects the PV component to the battery, and to integrate the Wysips® Connect feature, which is compatible with LiFi.