Apple may soon be rolling out iPods and other Apple products with thin film solar cells integrated right into the body of the device! Apple recently filed a fresh patent for solar powered portable devices, including iPods, iPhones, Shuffles, MacBooks and even the hotly anticipated tablet computer. Exciting news keeps coming from the world of Apple and we like how green it’s getting.

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The patent diagrams show an iPod device covered in a thin film solar material. According to the analysis done by Patently Apple, the thin-film solar cells will help the device generate power when in the presence of light and it can still be charged normally via charger and the grid. Some high-tech programming will let the device work whether plugged in or not, and it can be charged by the sun when not plugged into the grid.

What is even more intriguing is that the solar cells will also be able to provide a good charge when the device is partially shaded. Those familiar with solar panels know that one of the problems is that when a panel is partially shaded the efficiency of energy generation drops significantly. How this works is not entirely clear, but it’s definitely a very cool feature that the iPod could continue to generate power efficiently even if you’re holding it in the palm of your hand and blocking the sun from reaching it.

Via Engadget and Patently Apple