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Matrix's Body-Heat-Powered Smartwatch, PowerWatch

An advanced activity-tracker requiring no charging ever

by Josh Rubin
on 15 November 2016

One of the biggest challenges to activity- and sleep-tracking gadgets happens to be the disruption caused by charging. While battery life has improved for certain devices, anyone looking for a solid, entire day read loses accuracy for those power-up minutes. With the PowerWatch, which is at 185% of its Indiegogo goal at time of publish, the wearer's body heat charges the versatile device while it's being worn. The 46mm watch, featuring a 1.2-inch diameter LCD memory display, utilizes a decades-old thermoelectric power technology. It's one of the first instances this tech has been used in a consumer product, and most certainly for a wearable. All of this hinges upon the PowerWatch's low-power usage. When the watch is removed, it stores all data to memory and reverts to a sleep mode, powering back up when placed back on the wrist.

As far as technical features go, the water-resistant PowerWatch (which was in development for over five years) has a date and time screen. Surrounding this, there's a power meter listing the watch's current charge level. Regarding activity tracking, the device charts calories burned (this is also done with the thermoelectric technology), steps taken (displayed beneath a target goal) and a sleep-tracker that divides resting hours between light and deep. As with all wearable tech, we'd love to see heart rate monitoring added down the line, but for right now, the body heat charging feature definitely warrants substantial praise. The BlueTooth enabled PowerWatch also connects to dedicated smartphone apps. That's quite commonplace, but here an indicator shares how much energy you've produced throughout the day. It's pretty fascinating to think that the warmer you are, the more power you generate. Between that future-forward step and the hassle-free nature of a device needing no other charge, the PowerWatch warrants consideration.

You can snag a PowerWatch on Indiegogo for an early bird $119 pledge. Delivery is expected in July 2017.

Video and images courtesy of Matrix

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