Tuesday 24 September 2019

Wrist movement powers prototype smartwatch


Emma Clark

Researchers have developed a prototype e-watch that is powered by the wearer's wrist movements thanks to two energy conversion mechanisms .

Battery life is a gripe with all smart technology, but it’s one that researchers are looking to crack. A prototype e-watch may push us one step closer to longer battery life as it’s powered by the wearer’s wrist movement.

Unlike other prototype smartwatches that have looked at this area, this particular device uses two energy conversion mechanisms - electromagnetic and triboelectric – through a single hybrid nanogenerator. The previous approach wasn’t powerful enough to keep the device running, but it’s hoped that this new approach will do the job.

Ya Yang at the Beijing Institute of Nanosystems in China and Zhong Lin Wang at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the US created the prototype. Yang told Phys.org, "This kind of nanogenerator can also be utilized to power other wearable electronic devices, such as a wireless smart pedometer for reading data on walking steps, distance, and energy consumption."

It’s a step towards solving issues facing smartwatch battery life, though there are some kinks to be worked out. For starters, it needs to be narrower, while some may have issues with shaking their wrists to keep their device ticking over.

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