Apple Testing Induction, Solar, and Motion Charging for Curved-Glass iWatch

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple is exploring a variety of different charging methods for its upcoming "iWatch" smart watch project, according to a report from The New York Times. At the top of the list for Apple appears to be induction charging, allowing users to recharge their watches wirelessly.
    Apple's sixth-generation iPod nano with one of several included watch faces
    Other options for Apple include solar and movement-based charging, although it appears those ideas may still be several years from becoming practical. The report also reiterates the newspaper's claim from last year that the iWatch will feature a curved glass display.
    The report notes that with battery technology improving relatively slowly, Apple has focused on improving power efficiency of various components in its devices, as seen with the latest generation of the MacBook Air.

    iPod creator and Nest co-founder Tony Fadell is also quoted as confirming that Apple had explored solar charging for the iPhone and iPod for a number of years, but the technology proved infeasible due to users storing the devices in pockets and other dark places for extended periods of time.

    For the iWatch, Apple has been working on flexible new battery designs and looking at new charging technologies, but battery life has reportedly continued to be one of the sticking points for Apple as it seeks to create a powerful smart watch capable of lasting several days between charges.

    Article Link: Apple Testing Induction, Solar, and Motion Charging for Curved-Glass iWatch
  2. macrumors 65816


    Jan 30, 2009
    Here's to hoping that induction becomes mainstream soon.
  3. macrumors member

    One Bad Duck

    Sep 18, 2005

    I think this product is going to surprise us all and be something just a little special.
  4. AngerDanger, Feb 2, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2014

    macrumors 68020


    Dec 9, 2008
    Hill Valley, California
    Hmm, if it means longer usage, I'd be more than happy to get a small lightinging port installed on my wrist for the iWatch to run off. It would also nullify the need for a strap…

  5. macrumors 601


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    In other words, you won't see the "iWatch" until at least 2015.
  6. macrumors 68000


    May 17, 2010
    What a step back to boring the 7th gen nano is compared to that little square one.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 18, 2010
    Terra Australis
    Movement based charging would not be that hard, hell Seiko watches have a Kinetic series where movement charges the battery and winds the mechanism - all they have to do is use the same idea and modify it - Im sure it would not be that hard to do. Im not a fan of induction charging because these take a lot longer than conventional AC charging due to the lower voltage / current being used. The only major difference is no direct cable from watch to wall - watch sits on a "plate" which is then connect to an AC adapter. Its "convenient" but too slow time wise.

    Plus you still have a cable from from the induction charger to the wall. Solar has similar technical issues as the panels cannot charge the battery quick enough due to their low voltage / current as the sunlight is converted into a current to charge the battery. Then the battery has to hold this charge in a large capacity and not drain quickly either - Solar panels are usually slower and not as visually appealing and would need to be covered in sapphire crystal as well to protect them from damage and scratches.

    So far the only charging system thats the quickest is AC based, the rest are good in theory but way too slow.
  8. macrumors 68030


    Sep 3, 2011
    I imagine the issue is with how much energy is generated. A smart watch obviously needs a lot more power than a conventional one.
  9. macrumors 68020


    Sep 22, 2009
  10. macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2012
    As long as it leaves the Galaxy Gear in the dust... but then, Apple could make something like that by accident.
  11. macrumors 6502


    Dec 1, 2013
    Jony's house
    Anybody can do that. :p
  12. macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2009
    Yes, but the harvested power is so little, it couldn't operate a smartwatch.
  13. macrumors regular

    Jun 7, 2005
    Two big stories in a three-day period for the iWatch. Where there's enough smoke, there's fire. Here we go :)

    In other news, the iOS 8 checklist is:
    Fix photo management
    Maps with transit
    Mobile payments
    Multi-user support with Touch ID
  14. macrumors 68020


    Oct 21, 2013
    how cool would it be to have a charging system like some normal watches where it can wind up. non innovative my ass. i will be waiting in line for this!
  15. macrumors 601


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    Not be that hard? You do realize that iWatch will do a lot more than simply tell you the time, right? It's a little computer. There is huge room for improvements to efficiency in such designs—which would require a hefty amount of innovation.

    I think one solution will be inductive, but the kicker is it will charge from a few feet away. Plug in the wall adapter behind your bed, or at your desk at work. Have a battery that lasts several days, and each night it only has to charge it a fractional amount of that to keep charged. I also tend to think the battery will be in the wrist strap. I also think it will be a bit wider, like a band instead of a watch. The curved glass display will go nearly edge to edge, and in the first version wrap around the top part of the loop. I've also got another idea for a unique user interaction that I'd like to mock up with some animation, but I don't have time (hah sorry no pun intended).
  16. macrumors 68020


    Oct 21, 2013
    but as an additional charging source, with just a battery lets say the watch lasts 5 days, if it had the kinetic charging it could maybe prolong that to a week, which would be a way to potentially solve the battery problem.
  17. macrumors regular

    Aug 12, 2013
    They obviously don't want you to have to plug it in. The main reason being that it would save considerable space in the device if you remove the lightning port.
  18. macrumors 6502


    Feb 14, 2012
    Why exactly did they take that step backwards anyway?
  19. macrumors 68020


    Dec 9, 2008
    Hill Valley, California
    To differentiate between the iPod nano and the potential iWatch, perhaps.
  20. macrumors 6502a


    May 7, 2011
    I'm praying it takes design cues from the Nike Fuelband SE. I think it's a very well thought out design. I think it's the small things that people don't notice that really makes it a great product.
  21. macrumors 601


    Jun 26, 2009
    long island NY
    The lightning port serves more of a purpose other than charging, what happens when you need to update/restore? What happens when you want to sync it?
  22. macrumors 65816


    Dec 10, 2002
    I still don't see why anyone would want what is undoubtedly an expensive underpowered nano iPod. People are moving away from watches. The convergence of services into fewer devices is what people want. Unless this watch can make phone calls, check email, run games, etc., what is the point?
  23. macrumors 65816


    Jun 13, 2013
    OTA, sync over wifi
  24. macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2013
    Make it motion charged and design it for the right hand. Given the fan base, I predict it will never have to be connected to power.
  25. macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2013
    Isn't there some kind of experimental technology called "graphene" that allegedly keeps batteries charged for an insane amount of time?

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