Matrix Industries have come up with a really unique innovation this time. This is nothing but a PowerWatch, charged by the body heat of the person wearing it. So, as long as it is touching the body, it doesn’t need any charger.
This shipping of power watch is the effort of almost six years of research, and a year of successful Indiegogo campaign, by the Menlo Park, California-based Matrix Industries. To this, Akram Boukai, CEO and co-founder of Matrix Industries, regarded in an interview that this technology behind the watch could pave the way for a new era of wearable that would never run out of power, Right now, priced at $17o, it is available on PowerWatch.com, though doesn’t look like much, as it is designed to conserve power.
So, Boukai added that “We went after people who don’t want fancy bells and whistles,” Boukai said. “As long as you are active and take maybe 10,000 steps a day, you don’t have to charge it”.
How does this work?
This smartwatch harvests energy from body heat, using a chip with a thermoelectric energy converter. Matrix engineered its advanced thermoelectric generators to operate with extreme efficiency. It created more efficient conversion circuitry to power the electronics and charge the internal battery. Also, its thermal design is built to harvest the small amount of heat available to the wearable device.
Boukai also added that the outside of the wrist is a bad place to harvest energy because it doesn’t produce nearly as much heat as the head, the bottom of the feet, or even the inside of the wrist. The whole secret is of maintaining a temperature difference between the part of the watch that touches the skin and the part on the other side. The process takes heat from the wrist and expels it from the other side of the watch.
The company had also found a semiconductor material that can conduct electricity but does not transfer heat easily. The team further created the material by introducing defects into the material at a nanoscale, or a billionth of a meter. This material produces a voltage when there is a temperature difference between the two sides of the chip.
When a user takes the watch off, the data is stored in memory, and the device goes to sleep. When again put back, the watch returns to where the user has left it. It can store data for two years in idle mode. It also has an always-on power meter that states how much electricity the body heat is producing. This means it can accurately calculate how many calories the user is burning.
The device also has an aircraft-grade aluminum, and it syncs wirelessly with your smartphone. It automatically adjusts to the current time zone, tracks the steps, counts calories, and measures sleep and are also water-resistant up to 50 meters.
It essentially offers the same capabilities as battery-powered fitness wearable, without the hassle of chargers. The watch has no touchscreen, so the user might as well maneuver through the functions using two buttons.
Right now, the PowerWatch is shipping to more than 12,000 people who had pre-ordered the device.
A premium version, the PowerWatch X with a color display from Sharp, is expected to ship before the end of the year. Boukai expects to launch it on Amazon and at retailers next year. The full retail price will be $200, where he regarded that,“It’s a great feeling to have revenue for the first time”.
Lastly, He added that Matrix is also researching self-charging earbuds and various kinds of devices, as other parts of the body can produce considerably more energy than the wrist.