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Monday, February 10, 2014

Apple Said To Be Exploring Inductive Charging And Solar Power In iWatch Testing

work on an upcoming smartwatch includes explorations of induction
charging and solar-powered batteries, according to a new report from the
New York Times .
As part of a larger piece about battery tech in general, the NYT
revealed that Apple has been working on tests involving wireless
induction charging for the smartwatch, and methods for incorporating
solar panels into the display to draw power from the sun, and
potentially ambient light.

Both of these are noted as technology in the testing phase for a
wrist-mounted Apple wearable, which means they’re not necessarily very
far along and likely not on tap for an Apple iWatch should it arrive
sometime within the next year.
The solar charging in particular, for example, is said to be years away
from making its way into shipping product, according to the NYT’s

It does address a major pain point with current wearable tech,
however, which might inform a hypothesis of what Apple is focusing on
with any wrist-based smart device it is working on. We’ve heard from 9to5Mac that the iWatch will have a health and fitness focus , working with a new app that will come pre-installed on iOS 8 called “Healthbook.” Hardware details remain thin, but Apple did previously look into motion-based kinetic charging , which also lends credence to rumors that it’s exploring a range of power options.

Battery life for wearables is a huge concern, and the reason why is
continued adoption: No end user is eager for the chance to have to
remember to charge yet another device, of course, and the problem is
made worse when, in forgetting to charge a wearable even once, they
notice no overall impact to their lives.
The double challenge then is to build a smartwatch that becomes
integral to a user’s general routine, such that they’ll actively
remember to charge it with the same frequency as their phone, and also
to make it so that charging is a fairly infrequent requirement.

Apple has managed to sell a lot of things to people who neither users
nor critics ever would’ve predicted they’d “needed” to begin with, with
the iPad being the big shining example.
They can probably do the same for the smartwatch, and these reports of
their progress in its development signal to me they’re innovating in the
right areas.

| TechCrunch

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