In 2008, Tag Heuer introduced its first mobile phone, the US$6,200 Meridiist. Well, as if a luxury phone made by a company usually associated with premium watches isn't eyebrow-raising enough, the just-announced Meridiist Infinite offers a little something extra: a built-in photovoltaic panel that keeps it powered up and charging as long as there's light.
The transparent panel is built into the phone's display, sandwiched between its sapphire outer surface and the LCD screen itself. Made using Sunpartner Technologies' Wysips film tech, that panel in turn consists of two layers – a semi-cylindrical lens substrate through which light is focused, and a lenticular film containing thin strips of photovoltaic cells, which receives the light.
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Although Tag Heuer hasn't stated exactly how much electricity can be generated in this fashion, it's reportedly at least enough to allow the phone to remain in stand-by mode as long as it's receiving sufficient natural or artificial light – even if the battery is empty. It's being called the Perpetual Power Reserve.
No specs on the phone itself are available yet, other than the fact that its body will be made entirely of titanium, carbon fiber and rubber. Only 1,911 of the phones will be made (commemorating the company's first dashboard chronograph, patented in 1911), with a worldwide launch scheduled for July. There's currently no word on price, so just use your imagination for now.
The Meridiist Infinite can be seen looking dark and imposing in the video below.