Apple Inc. (AAPL) Testing Solar Charging For iWatch

Apple Inc. (AAPL) Testing Solar Charging For iWatch
ElisaRiva / Pixabay

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is so focused on improving the battery life of its upcoming wearable device iWatch that the company is looking for other ways to power the device and ditch the traditional battery altogether. Tony Fadell, an ex-Apple executive who led the development of iPod and iPhone software, told The New York Times that the Cupertino-based tech giant has been working on the idea for many years.

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Apple’s various ideas to power its devices

We reported last year that the tech giant is considering adding solar panels to its devices including iPhones and MacBooks. But the latest revelations show that the iWatch can receive energy from even air or TV, WiFi and cellular signals. Over the past few decades, the processor and software technology has seen immense improvement. But the battery technology remains a laggard. Users won’t be attracted to a wearable device that requires charging every few hours. So far, companies have improved battery life of electronic devices by making chips and screens more energy efficient. It’s time tech heavyweights start thinking about improving the battery itself or finding an alternative.

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Over the past few years, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has recruited many engineers with extensive expertise in battery design and power technology from companies like A123 Systems and Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). For iWatch, the company is testing a technology that will charge the battery with magnetic induction wirelessly. Sources told The New York Times that the company is also experimenting with another idea, but that will take years to materialize. The iWatch is likely to have a curved screen, and the company is testing the idea to add solar panels to the screen.

Other tech companies not far behind Apple

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has also been testing the use of movement to charge the battery. Many modern watches already use that method. A tiny charging station in the watch generates power when the user’s arm swings. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.(ADR) (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930), various universities and start-ups are also working on new battery technologies. A California-based startup uBeam, which is backed by Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer, is working on a technology that allows a device to pull energy from the air.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares ticked up 0.69% to $504.16 at 11:12 AM EST.

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  1. This is simply incredible. From what I see in the iWatch concept render above, Apple’s future is extremely bright. If Apple creates a watch, this is going to be the next ground breaking product category that extends the mobile experience to the wrist. It will also save consumers a tremendous amount of time in mobile computing as they won’t have to scramble to find their phone, turn it on, navigate to the right spot, etc… A lot of monotonous steps will be eliminated which exist when using a smartphone. If the watch has everything it’s rumored to have (including the bio sensors), this product will be simply revolutionary as there will be a new universe of apps created that interface with your person. Think of the possibilities. An app that thwarts medical problems using the watches biosensors. Or real time communication and intelligence among groups of people playing team sports or involved in other group activities. An app that assists the motion of your hand or arm and gives you feedback as you involved in activities such as golf or exercise. The ideas are simply mind boggling. And think about a high definition video camera of the likes of gopro mounted in the watch that could be used for action photography. While the idea of glasses is cool, a watch is practical for the mass market and offers unbelievable possibilities. I think global global watch industry is about $70 Billion a year. With a product like a new watch from Apple, I could easily imagine that tripling.

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