Sharp's LR0GC02 Solar Panel module has proved popular in Japan, where phones can now be recharged by just leaving them in the sun.

That technology has now gone global, as Sharp announces that its solar panel will be available across the world to device manufacturers. The company claims that it's the industry's thinnest, at just 0.8mm - the width of eight human hairs. Solar phones have been available in the UK before, but not with a panel that thin.

The cells on the panel will deliver up to 300 mW of juice for your handset, and although they won't replace a traditional battery, they could contribute to increased life of the device. That could be handy both for top-end smartphones with high power requirements, and handsets for the developing world, where mains power isn't widely available.