Say goodbye to power cords and even to wireless charging stations. The old-fashioned way of charging electronics simply isn’t good enough for the makers of a new smartwatch called PowerWatch. There’s apparently no need when this smartwatch uses your body heat to maintain its charge.
The PowerWatch is the result of five years of research and development by Menlo Park, Calif.-based Matrix Industries — with a core team consisting of PhD graduates from Caltech, MIT, Harvard, and University of California, San Diego.
The watch uses thermoelectric technology to convert changes in heat to electric power. As the company’s Indiegogo page claims, it’s technology that NASA has used to power the Voyager spacecraft and Curiosity, the mars rover. So far, the technology hasn’t appeared much in consumer applications.
My initial thought was, that’s neat, but what happens when you take the watch off and don’t wear it for several days? If it goes dead and there’s no power cord, do you have to wear it until it powers up again? The Indiegogo page says the PowerWatch “goes to sleep and runs off battery power where it draws a tiny amount of current. Put it back on and it turns on with the correct time.”
Like other smartwatches, the PowerWatch delivers notifications, tells the time, and is able to measure things like calories burned, activity level, and sleep.
So far, the PowerWatch has raised about $45,000 of its $100,000 fundraising goal, with two months still remaining.