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Best known for developing and popularizing Post-It Notes, the multinational conglomerate 3M has recently revealed their innovative Solar Film, a transparent sheet that harvests sunlight without obscuring your window’s view.
On display for the first time at the CEATEC electronics conference in Japan, Solar Film made an immediate splash upon the revelation that one square inch of the coating was enough to charge an iPhone under peak sunlight. The obvious shortcoming is that the film only collects 20% of the usable light that traditional solar cells can. On the upside, however, the fact that Solar Film absorbs and reflects considerable light means it will provide considerable shade during those bright, arid summer days. This invention effectively allows users to shade themselves while collecting and exploiting the sun’s natural energy, and all without disturbing one’s interior decor.