Microsoft was recently granted a patent that could mean a Surface Pen future without batteries. The patent, first spotted by Digital Trends (via OnMSFT), was published on June 7 by the US Patent and Trademark Office and describes a housing that would provide power to the Surface Pen by harvesting and storing energy from the light emitted by your Surface's display.
The housing holds a panel of solar cells that would sit near the tip or the pen so it remains close to the screen while inking. The solar cells would be configured to absorb light through a window, transferring it to an optical diffuser that would then use the generated energy to recharge the pen.
"Due to the close proximity of the stylus to the touch screen during harvesting, the intensity of light that is collected from the electronic display is significantly higher than intensity from ambient lighting in a room or from outdoor lighting," Microsoft says. "The higher intensity light may lead to harvesting at a faster rate."
For charging while not in use, Microsoft also provided an example of a dock with an LED light inside that could charge the stylus while at rest.
It's worth keeping in mind that this is just a patent, so it's entirely possible we'll never see this idea make its way to a final product. Still, it's an interesting look at one of the ideas Microsoft is exploring for a potential future stylus. And it's not the first look at Surface Pen innovations we've seen in recent months. In February, two patent filings showed that Microsoft is experimenting with a touch-sensitive clip and a haptic feedback mechanism that could make their way into a future product.
Review: Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 5) brings new CPUs, features
The premium ThinkPad X1 Yoga has been refreshed for a fifth generation, and while it's not as big a step as third-gen to fourth-gen, there are still some new features to check out.
Review: Should you buy the AMD or Intel version of the ThinkPad T14s?
The ThinkPad T490s has been refreshed and rebranded to the ThinkPad T14s. It's still thin, light, and packing a ton of features. We used both the AMD and Intel versions to see which one comes out on top.
Outlook.com still down following Microsoft 365 outage
If you've hit a snag signing into Microsoft 365 services today, you're not alone. Though the Microsoft 365 outage appears to be on the mend, Outlook.com is still down according to Microsoft's Office service status.
Make the most of your Surface Pen and Slim Pen with these awesome apps
To really maximize the ability of the Surface Pen and Slim Pen, there are some essential apps you should check out. We've rounded up the best right here for a variety of purposes.