Its over 20 years ago now that Citizen revolutionised the sports/dive watch market with their Eco-Drive system. Producing sports orientated watches that neither needed winding or even charging (although charging your watch was a very new progression). It has confused me somewhat that this technology first of all, never really became mainstream on chronograph watches, but with the advent of the smart watch I have been ever more frustrated that this type of technology has over the course of the past 20 years surely become both proven enough and surely advanced enough to be able to supply charge
Rumour has it that the technology lies tied down in some very stringent physical copyright law and the development of comparable technology would be far too expensive for any competitor to consider as it relies on very clever physical physics rather than clever electronics.
Leads, Ports, Clutter and utter Frustration
So what we in the electronic gadget universe have been stuck with is the supersonic advance in our technological portability and its capabilities, tied to a less than pedestrian progress in the manner in which we provide power to our peripherals.USB, HDMi, Micro USB, Blu-tooth, Port, and fast charge versions of all of the above.
With little or no suggestion that anything was about to change, at any point soon. No all we could expect was that with the advance in battery technology and increases in the efficiency of our components, was an ever increasing gap between charges…………
But that may just be about to change.
Matrix Powerwatch 2
Matrix had created a new second-generation solar smartwatch aptly named the PowerWatch 2 which has raised over $1 million via Indiegogo with still 26 days remaining on its campaign thanks to over 4,600 backers. Unlike other smartwatches which require daily charging the PowerWatch 2, never requires charging and has now been updated with new features such as heart rate monitoring, GPS location tracking, and a colour display. Watch the video below to learn more about the unique charging technology integrated into the smartwatch which converts your body heat and ambient light into power.
“We are back on Indiegogo with new features and advanced energy harvesting technology that improves on the original award-winning PowerWatch. Our second generation PowerWatch 2 uses body heat and light to power the most advanced smartwatch you never need to charge so you can keep doing what you do best without any interruptions”
Earlybird pledges are available from $199 offering a massive 60 percent saving off the recommended retail price which will take effect once the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign comes to an end. PowerWatch 2 Has been equipped with improved thermoelectric generators and all-new solar-cell technology, allowing the smartwatch to constantly generate more than enough energy needed to operate the built-in electronics. For more details on the full list of all available pledge options jump over to the official Indiegogo campaign page by following the link below
Camera on a Smartwatch
A quick peak into the patent pending file sees proposals that head off in a direction that most of us had thought had been thought of and rejected as either too geeky or impractical.
But just maybe those clever guys at LG have re-visited it and once again found a nifty little solution. Yes the LG boffins maybe about to present us with a watch with a click rather than a tick.
The patent pictured above has recently been filed with the USTPO (United States Trademark and Patent Office) and shows a smartwatch with the unmistakable LG badge and a camera module built into the strap. There are several variations in design, but they all show a module in the strap, which is sometimes removable and other times not.
The camera itself is built into the wrist band and always sits one band section below the lug band, so if on your wrist it would be facing you. However, the module can be seen to be removable or adjustable in some of the designs, hinting that you could remove the camera and place it anywhere on the strap. This would solve the issue of having to awkwardly angle your wrist to take a sick snap for your Instagram page.
The patent also references ‘mobile terminal’ features, which to us means the smartwatch camera may be linked to an AI like Google Lens. Patent drawings show one of the smartwatch designs using a camera to scan a barcode and a QR code. If you scan these on your Android phone, Google will usually show a page of search results or take you directly to a web page. The bods at LG think it’d be cool if your smartwatch could do so too.
So, will this smartphone camera patent ever see a production application? Well, LG aren’t afraid to try something new. They dipped their toe into modularity with the LG G5 smartphone a few years ago. The G5 was a rubbish smartphone though and didn’t meet any sales targets. LG may be more cautious this time around. In other words, don’t hold any high hopes for a camera on your next LG smartwatch.
But watch this space because you just never know!!