The limitations of battery life are and will always present a problem for mobile devices. Even with longer lasting batteries, you’re eventually going to run into a situation where you forgot to charge something while you slept or you used an app that drained your battery quicker than you expected. It happens. It’s why airports have those big charging walls.

A Japanese research group may have found a solution in a translucent Li-on battery that charges itself through sunlight. The group wants to create a “smart window” that is both an almost-transparent battery and a photovoltaic cell, which pulls in and absorbs the sunlight.

The group is ran by Mitsunobu Sato, president of Kagakuin University and professor at the Department of Applied Physics, School of Advanced Engineering of the university. If you’re knowledgeable with this kind of science, then be sure to read up on the specifics of how the battery works. For the rest of us, just the thought of a solar-powered battery is enough to get us excited.

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