Wearable technology is a huge potential market for tech companies, but one that has yet to be fully exploited. Unlike the smartphone, which has seen near global adoption, there seems to be something holding people back from wearables. Whether that’s the technology not being quite up to scratch yet, or the design not cool enough, something needs to happen to break through and bring wearables into the mainstream.
One big hurdle, as with smartphones, is battery life. It’s more than annoying that you have to charge your phone every day, and that as it gets older it holds the charge for less and less time. With wearables the problem is even worse, as the space for batteries is even smaller, and therefore so is the lifespan. If you thought it was annoying charging your phone every day, try adding a watch and some other small fiddly pieces to that as well!
One startup that is aiming to make this a thing of the past is smart watch maker LunaR. They have recently crowdfunded a smartwatch that utilises new kinds of photovoltaic technology that is transparent, and have made the entire watch face one solar charger. Even with this small area they estimate that only 1 to 2 hours under either natural or artificial light will be enough to power the watch for the day. It’s not a simple timepiece either, with lots of digital features you’d usually find on a smartwatch, and a companion phone app to complement it.
Some of the more major brands already seem to have noticed this downside to wearable tech and are looking into solar charging. As the items are usually worn on the person then it seems to make a lot of sense, and if the technology is at the point that it can actually work, then this makes it even more obvious. We really think this could be the key to widespread adoption, and hopefully soon every brand from Sony to Apple phones, Gucci to Hugo Boss Black watches will be running for free on the power of the sun!