Though iPads and other similar tablet computers have managed to revolutionize the way people compute, charging these devices is a major problem as their onboard batteries last just a few hours on a full charge. To end charging woes and make the iPad a lot more practical for regular computing, solar startup Alta Devices has announced plans to make a fast charging iPad cover that could theoretically end the need to plug the tablet into a wall or laptop to charge its battery.
There is no dearth of solar chargers for portable electronic devices including the iPad, however, most of these chargers rely on conventional solar cells that aren’t very efficient in converting sunshine to electricity. While the use of these solar chargers can give you a few more minutes of computing, they cannot be relied upon for a complete battery charge as it could take up to eight hours for the same. Alta Devices’ solar cells are different, as they are made using gallium arsenide.
The thin film solar cells boast an efficiency rating of about 28 percent and can be directly embedded into electronic devices such as the iPad. The company believes that the solar cover made for the iPad can generate 10W of power in direct sunshine, which is the same amount one gets from the wall. If all goes well for the company, you can expect to leave your iPad charging cable back at home by the end of 2013.
Images Courtesy: GigaOm