Why Apple Watch can't use solar Battery?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by truelies, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. truelies macrumors regular

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    #1
    Charge each day is weird for a watch. Why can't like Casio using a solar battery? Maybe apple watch consume too much power?
     
  2. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #2
    The answer to all the "Why" questions is they don't put all their eggs in one basket.

    Unless of course it's an extremely bad idea.
     
  3. PTLove macrumors 6502

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    #3
    The apple watch uses way way way way way ....... Way more power than a solar powered watch.
     
  4. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

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    #4
    And, the yield of a solar panel within the display is still too low.

    Trust me, they're working on it.
     
  5. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

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    #5
    The Apple Watch consumes way too much power for any small solar array to work. Beside where would you put the solar array on the watch as you can't cover the screen. Watches like the Casio use so little power that the solar charging is a great idea.
     
  6. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #6
    There are phone prototypes that have the solar panels built into the screen.

    Still waiting for Apple to make the entire screen TouchID-capable, iSight-capable, solar-capable, etc.
     
  7. Newtons Apple macrumors Pentium

    Newtons Apple

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    #7
    You will be waiting for a while.

    I have no doubt that Apple will do OK with the AW but if sales never really take off, Apple is not stupid and will not be putting a whole lot of resources into updates. I am hoping that if they get the software fixed and flesh out the app they might see increased sales at the holiday season.
     
  8. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #8
    I was talking about the iPhone (TouchID, iSight, etc. built into the entire screen). Surely any new development will appear on the iPhone before it may trickle down to the Watch, with certain exceptions like Force Touch where it appears on the Watch first.
     
  9. Lennyvalentin macrumors 6502a

    Lennyvalentin

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    #9
    Considering all the issues with putting solar panels on a watch, I would rather say, "trust me, they're NOT working on it", because for starters, even a smartwatch draws far more power than even the best possible solar panel of an equivalent size can deliver under the very best of conditions.

    Then add that angle towards the sun is rarely all that great, and you're in fact not always in the sun at all, and even if you're in the sun, you might be wearing something with sleeves on your upper body, shading your watch completely. Add that a panel would have to be transparent to not block the watch's OLED display and so on and so forth, and you're looking at pretty dang lousy efficiency overall here.

    The extremely marginal benefit would be vastly outweighed by the increased cost, manufacturing complexity and so on, plus adding a solar panel layer would block off some of the light from your watch's display, either dimming it or forcing it to glow harder, drawing more power. It'd be counter-effective.

    That's purely gimmickery. While a phone has a larger surface area, it also draws even more power than an Apple Watch; far more, and most of the time it's in a pocket or similar where the sun won't touch it at all. Solar-powered phones will enter the market roughly...never, pretty much. :)

    TouchID will probably happen if it's at all technically possible (current implementation relies on a silicon capacitive sensor chip sitting right underneath the home button), but iSight (IE: CMOS video sensor) is a fundamentally different kind of technology that doesn't mix with a display screen. For one thing, CMOS sensors are etched out of silicon dies; they're not translucent, so it would block off your watch display. Besides, you need optics to focus an image onto the sensor; how would you combine that in a display screen, and furthermore, you can't mix a video sensor with a video display anyway, as any light from the display would leak into the image sensor, ruining the captured image.

    ...It'd be like watching a JJ Abrams movie, but without the artistic flair! :p
     
  10. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

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    #10
  11. Lennyvalentin macrumors 6502a

    Lennyvalentin

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    #11
    Random patents doesn't mean a thing. Most of them don't make it anywhere, it's just CYA fodder and that's it.
     
  12. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

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    #12
    I wouldn't dismiss it that quickly. They can easily implement this as a Power Reserve Mode in the iPhone.
     
  13. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

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    #13
    You don't think every device maker wishes they could debut something like that?

    Hell, I'd lock my best engineers in a room and make them solve it.
     
  14. soya macrumors 6502

    soya

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    #14
    Kinetic energy would be better than solar imo.
     
  15. BarracksSi macrumors 68040

    BarracksSi

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    #15
    Nah. Kinetic takes up too much space. Batteries also don't do well when fully discharged, which had been a problem with Seiko kinetic watches.
     
  16. Lennyvalentin macrumors 6502a

    Lennyvalentin

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    #16
    I just mentioned some of the major problems with trying to combine solar with wrist-worn electronics. It's not just something you "solve" just like that, especially not by throwing warm bodies at the problem. It's an extremely low reward use of engineering and manufacturing resources - because most of the time your watch won't be facing sunlight, combined with poor solar cell efficiency, combined with a bunch of other factors you will extract almost no power at all from your solar cell.

    You get enough to run an analog quartz watch on solar energy, but a smartwatch is a different beastie altogether. It would become nothing but a checkmark on the box, and we know Apple doesn't have those in the first place, so... :p
     
  17. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #17
    Casio solar watches use a 2.3V 18mAh (0.04 Wh) button cell, while the Apple Watch uses a 3.8V 205mAh (0.78 Wh) battery pack. The solar cells required to charge an Apple Watch would need to generate more than 19 times the power of those in a Casio watch while occupying a similar surface area and not obscuring the display.
     
  18. Rok73 macrumors 65816

    Rok73

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    #18
    Stop making sense. :p
     
  19. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

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    #19
    In short, because there's no way any solar panel you could stick on the watch would ever draw in enough photons to be worth the effort. There's a lot of physics involved and a bazillion conversions to figure it out, but you've got a 205 milliamp hour battery in the watch. I believe that's the same as a 0.2 amp hour battery. A decent sized solar panel that's 20 by 44 inches runs at maybe 12 volts and 60 watts comes out to about 3 amps. That's a panel that is about two feet by four feet and getting direct sunlight. Your watch will not get that much sunlight. So the effectiveness plummets, no space really exists for any solar cells on the watch, etc. etc. It's basically physics.

    I'm no physicist, but I would place a small wager that figuring out how to turn heat emitted from your body into electricity would be "easier" than getting solar to work on such a small space. But what's more practical is over time the battery capacity gets higher and the hardware gets more efficient, thus yielding longer battery life. If your watch had two-day battery life, solar charging on the device itself would be almost worthless. You'd be much better off spending development money on solar panels at home that charge a battery pack from which you can charge the watch via the magnetic connector that comes with it.
     
  20. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

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    #20
    Oh good. You did more research and conversions than I did! So many damn units and we didn't cover electricity much in mechanics. What this guy said is about to what I was alluding. Go science.
     
  21. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #21
    It's not quite as simple as I stated as the Casio will last around 7 months from a single full charge without topping up while the Apple Watch only lasts just over a day. It would probably need a much higher output from the solar cells than my original estimate because it would need to recharge a lot quicker than the Casio.
     
  22. testcard macrumors 68020

    testcard

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    #22
    Solar cells built into a strap?
     
  23. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #23
    It would need to be a really big strap. :D
     
  24. exxxviii macrumors 65816

    exxxviii

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    #24
    Everybody's an expert in what cannot be done. That is why amazing things are created by such a small number of people.
     
  25. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #25
    I haven't said it can't be done. I was just highlighting the fact that the technology used in traditional solar watches isn't up to the job of recharging the battery pack in the Apple Watch in response to the question asked in the first post. :)
     

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