Apple may be working on embedding solar cells in touch sensors of its future devices and computer peripherals, according to a patent application filed by the company.
Patently Apple highlighted the new application: "Wireless Devices with Touch Sensors and Solar Cells," which covers applying solar cells to touch input devices such as mice and trackpads, thus letting them draw power from the sun.
In theory, the technology would eliminate the need for AA batteries which are currently required to power peripherals such as the Magic Mouse.
It could potentially be used to solve battery issues on the Cupertino company's frontline products such as the iPhone and the Apple Watch.
"The wireless device has a touch sensor and a solar cell that converts ambient light into electrical power," Apple said in its patent application.
"Wireless communications circuitry transmits the touch input to the external equipment using the electrical power from the solar cell.
"Energy storage devices such as a capacitor and a battery can be charged using the electrical power," the application reads.
The current design of some Apple devices, which have multi-touch capabilities and transparent cover layers, makes it ideal for the integration of solar cell technology.
Not all of Apple's patented technologies make it on to final products, however.
Many patents are filed as a purely precautionary measure and some are filed to ward off competitors.
The Cupertino-based firm has more than 16 inventions relating to the integration of solar power in future devices, according to Patently Apple.
Amid persistent complaints from users over battery life of the iPhone 6, Apple is set to roll-out a new power saving mode as part of its new iOS 9 mobile operating system. It is scheduled for release later this year.