Technology

Your body movements could power the future of smartwatches

Imagine one day all of the smartwatches suddenly disappeared. What will you do? Will it have any impact on your life? If I am correct, almost everybody will reply with a “No” because smartwatches haven’t really disrupted anything.

Android Wear 2.0
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Smartwatches are currently just an expensive gadget that needs charging every other day. The above scenario will be entirely different if I replace smartwatches with smartphones in the question.

Despite the slowly dying market of smartwatches, people still love few small things about them. The notifications on hand, quick access to phone and basic functionalities are what people consider the benefit a smartwatch has brought to them. Smartwatches and other fitness gadget have also made people more health conscious than before.

But, all these luxury features comes at the cost of good battery life. Having a good battery life often becomes a selling point of a gadget and Smartwatches being small and powerful, are losing the battle.

This added with already existing uselessness of smartwatches has fueled the demise of this industry as a whole. Smartwatches costs several hundred dollars while other inexpensive fitness tracking devices are capable of doing almost equivalent job with even better batteries.

Now to bring back the hype that smartwatch once created, many companies are working on alternate methods to power these wearables. Methods like, using body heat is one of such alternatives.

One great example could be Matrix Smartwatch which uses your body heat to power itself. The only tradeoff however is limited functionality. The watch features a LCD-memory display and doesn’t have a touch screen.

Harnessing body heat to power a wearable is a great idea but is not very practical at moment. Thermoelectric generators require wide fluctuations in temperatures to work flawlessly which, in case of human body, are not wide enough.

Next comes a little more promising method, using body movement to power wearables. Many companies including Samsung are actively researching new ways to power our smartwatches and other wearable gadgets using body movements.

This makes a lot of sense as, unlike temperature differences that occurs rarely, we move our hand a lot throughout the day. Be it walking, jogging, basic office work, or even typing, there’s always a slight movement going on which could be utilized to generate more energy.

A recent patent of Samsung indicates use of triboelectric generators to harness those movement and power small gadgets using the same. Not just smartwatches but, as per the patent application, smartphone covers could use the same technology to provide some extra juice to your smartphone as well.

Not sure whether this will actually save smartwatches from their slow and painful death but, it can sure delay it a bit longer. After all, battery life is not the only problem that smartwatches have to solve. What do you think? Do you think that improving battery lives could bring back the hype that smartwatch once created? Leave a comment below to share your views.