More light has been shed on Apple’s much-speculated efforts to develop a smartwatch — the New York Times reports that the company is testing various alternative power-charging methods for its wearable device as it seeks to overcome the limitations imposed by battery life.
The NYT says that one of the methods Apple has been testing is to charge the battery wirelessly with magnetic induction — noting that this would be similar to technology already used for some Nokia smartphones, which can be charged via a charging ‘plate’ that creates a magnetic field using an electrical current.
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Another possible method Apple is reportedly exploring is to add a solar-charging layer to the curved glass screen that the watch is expected to have, thus powering the device in daylight. The NYT notes that in July, Apple got a patent for a flexible battery that could “easily couple with a flexible solar panel layer.”
Apple is also experimenting with the idea of charging a watch’s battery through movement, which means a person’s arm swinging could trigger a tiny charging station that powers the device, according to a 2009 patent.
It has been known for a while that Apple would be unveiling an iWatch — it has filed paperwork for the trademark in several countries like Japan, Mexico, and Taiwan. However, Apple has reportedly hit a few snags while developing its much-anticipated wearable device, including challenges with the screen technology, battery problems, and possible manufacturing bumps.
➤ Building a Better Battery [New York Times]