Apple reportedly working on solar, motion charging for iWatch

By , Feb 2, 2014

iPhone Wrist (Yrving Torrealba 002)

The New York Times is out with a new report this evening, claiming that Apple is exploring a variety of different charging methods for its mobile devices in an effort to improve battery life. These methods include induction, solar and kinetic.

While patents and other evidence suggest that the company has been experimenting with these technologies for years now, the report cites sources within Apple saying that interest has been reinvigorated by the oft-rumored iWatch project…

Here’s the report from the Times:

“For its wristwatch, Apple has been testing a method to charge the battery wirelessly with magnetic induction, according to a person briefed on the product. A similar technology is already used in some Nokia smartphones — when a phone is placed on a charging plate, an electrical current creates a magnetic field, which creates voltage that powers the phone.”

The piece goes on to cite Nest co-founder and former iPod engineer Tony Fadell as saying that Apple has been trying for years to put “smarter” batteries in its mobile products, including solar power tech. But their efforts were unsuccessful.

Induction charging would be cool—placing the iWatch on a pad, instead of plugging it in—but it wouldn’t improve battery life. I imagine solar would be tough due to space and environment limits. But kinetic charging; now that could really work.

“Another experiment at Apple has involved charging the battery through movement, a method that is already used in many modern watches. A person’s arm swinging could operate a tiny charging station that generates and pushes power to the device while walking, according to a patent filed by Apple in 2009.”

Power has been an increasing problem for phone and tablet manufacturers. Despite devices getting increasingly faster, and more capable, battery tech has evolved very little in recent years. And it has been a major hurdle in Apple’s smartwatch.

At this point not much is known about the so-called iWatch, other than what we’ve heard in reports. It’s expected to feature a curved display, which the Times reiterates today, a range of health sensors, and is slated to launch as early as this fall.

  • Share:
  • Follow:
  • Adnan Mosali

    Apple just takes too long to introduce something .. It’s just not as exciting as it was before. Just like what happened with iPhone 5c

    • Rowan09

      If the techs not ready all they can do is wait. Apple doesn’t have the luxury to test the market and see what sticks, anytime they release a product it has to be a huge hit. Apple just released their quarterly earnings which was the best in company history and it wasn’t enough. If they can get kinetic charging right this will be a huge step forward.

    • Litchy

      Do you know what happens if you release something to early?
      Easy: Look at Galaxy Gear :D

      Even the Pebble is more popular than Galaxy Gear haha
      Give Apple some time. They’ll figure it out hopefully

    • N&LH

      Apple is a company that used to work on product very carefully and get it right. I don’t see any problem with that!. They like to focus on their work. Not like Samsung. Samsung does not know how to execute & come up with an amazing ideas like Apple. That’s why they are far behind Apple. They introduce incomplete product, then wait other companies to make something better, then copy it.

    • Adnan Mosali

      alright alright people I get it !! LOL

    • Chindavon

      Tell that to the Galaxy Gear. smh

  • Jonathan Liu

    IOS 6 iWatch? No thank you

    • Nirvana

      We barely know anything as of now, even te device’s name; what’s more, skeumophism is the past, as you can see on the large scale. Wearables must have iOS 7 UI.

      • Jonathan Liu

        I was referring to the picture at the top of the article.

      • RarestName

        And it’s a pre-iOS 7 mockup.

    • Litchy

      You do realize that picture is just mock-up made before iOS 7 was introduced^^

  • Swifity

    Apple takes their time on products. Whatever the name is called for the wearable technology they are making, it will be worth waiting. Perfection takes time. I will most likely invest in that product once it is available to the public.

    • xSeriouSx

      Just like they did with Apple maps…oh wait.

      • Swifity

        Product wise, not software.

      • xSeriouSx

        Like antenna gate, battery gate and scuff gate?

      • Litchy

        Apple Maps was kind of a fail… but software is kind of different you know. Pushing out a software update is no problem.

      • xSeriouSx

        Have you forgotten about antenna gate, battery gate and scuff gate already? I just mentioned one of the latest…

  • Litchy

    Can’t wait to see if Apple is able to revolutionize another type of product :)
    Gonna be a very exciting year :D

    • Adnan Mosali

      every year we say that , and then we get a bit disappointed with the new products , and then we prepare ourselves for the next ” exciting ” year :P

      #AppleFanIssues

      • Litchy

        Yeah you’re right^^ But to be honest Apple didn’t disappoint me the last few years.

        I mean come on, I can’t imagine using a non-retina Macbook anymore, the iPad mini is gorgeous, iPhone 5(s) looks awesome and gave us the bigger screen, the thin iMac design , iPad Air is also just… so freaking thin, nobody expected that kind of Mac Pro upgrade, …

        Apple didn’t reinvent a new type of product for a couple of years but they sure didn’t disappoint me with great products :)

  • Zed Sefi

    Solution: replaceable batteries (without taking off the watch from the wrist) by ejecting a tray (like how you eject the CD drive in a computer) then you will have panty of other small batteries and at home you could charge them in a specifically designed charges for them. Simple! These batteries are really small, the size of the coin.