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.
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.