The Microsoft Surface is often associated with working on the go. And according to a patent Microsoft filed, it may come with an interesting accessory in the future. The patent suggests that the company may fit solar panels on the Surface’s Type Cover to extend its battery life.
Described in the patent is a device looking like the Surface Pro, with a cover that includes a keyboard and a “solar cover”. The solar cover has four solar panels, which lets it charge the Surface using light. Any source of light, including artificial ones, could be used to charge the device, even while it’s being actively used.
That said, it’s likely that this simply extends the Surface’s battery life, rather than actually gaining charge while in use. It’s difficult to imagine a Microsoft Surface using less battery charge than, say, a pair of solar-powered headphones.
The fact that the panels are placed on the stand of the solar cover means that you could adjust the angle of the solar panels for maximum light intake. Of course, this may come at the cost of comfort, since this affects the angle of the Surface itself.
Microsoft is also considering using more solar panels than just the four in the illustration. The company isn’t particularly picky about which type of solar panel it uses either, based on the way the company describes it in the patent.
But as with all patents, it remains to be seen if Microsoft intends to make anything related to this patent.