Solar powered smart wearable facility Digital trends

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There was a time when watch technology had tiny cogs and you had to wind your timepiece every day to keep it running. When the battery runs out, we no longer have to run the clock or watch – unless we want to. The advent of rechargeable batteries has brought long watch life and smart watches. Rechargeable batteries mean today’s young people will never know the hassle of removing a watch case, accessing a battery, and then scrambling with a small screwdriver to find the right size at a local store.

The next leap in power technology for watches and wrist-worn gadgets, if you haven’t heard, is solar-powered wearables. Surprisingly, this technology uses only the sun to keep your device always charged and ready. Should we rush to snap up the sun-powered wrist wear?

What is a solar powered wearable?

A Garmin Phoenix 6 Pro Solar rests in the sand on a sunny day.
Garmin Phoenix 6 Pro Solar

Among the wearables, a stiff glass, like gorilla glass, is attached to a layer of translucent solar “traces” that cover the entire watch face. Traces collect the surrounding outdoor light and convert it into energy. Solar-powered batteries, also known academically as photovoltaic cell technology, work just like that huge panel on the roof of a house.

Solar energy recharges batteries and keeps all connected connected fully charged – until the sun shines. Believe it or not, some devices have the ability to recharge themselves using not only sunlight but also artificial light.

To be clear, solar wearables are not common; Manufacturers like Timex, Citizen and Seiko all make simple solar watches that say time, and Garmin has two models of data-centric, GPS-enabled “adventure watches” that are now solar-powered.

Garmin Instinct Solar is a more useful alternative The Garmin Fenix ​​7 Solar Edition is a superior model. Garmin uses what it says Power glass solar-charging lens Which uses solar energy to extend battery life. It is worth noting that the solar-charging option was not designed as a primary energy source. Most of you still need to plug it in and use Solar as your emergency backup.

What are the wearable benefits of solar?

The advantages of a solar-powered smartwatch are obvious, especially for the adventurous type: you don’t have to pack cables or batteries, and the risk of leaving a dead device is low. Also, your watch can potentially be kept on charge for several weeks, and not just hours, it can’t be shortened.

What is the price of solar wearables?

You no doubt read it and thought it sounded great, but the downside of this technology may already be obvious: it’s more expensive.

The Garmin’s Fenix ​​7 costs $ 699, the Solar Edition costs $ 799, and the Cadillac Garmin Fenix ​​7 Sapphire Solar version (no extra power, but more durable glass) costs 899. Is it worth an extra hundred dollars to get extra energy and solar charging? Some may think so. Others may want to wait for technology to improve.

Garmin Instinct Solar for only $ 399. The The Apple Watch Series 7 starts at $ 399 comparatively, but if having off-grid power is more important to you than the Siri, the decision to buy this one might be unwise.

Other gadgets powered by light

Samsung Solarcell TV Remote.
Samsung Solarcell Remote

While solar battery technology is still unusual, it is being cropped up elsewhere. 2021 Samsung Frame TVs use a solar cell remote, which slowly recharges with sunlight or – rather surprisingly – indoor lights. Just by placing the remote solar-side on the table, it can be charged forever, which means it probably won’t need to buy a battery for it – another exciting plus.

This SolarCell is not a powerhouse, nor is it fast, but according to Samsung, charging it day and week will keep the battery running for a year.

Solar wearables and technology: What’s next?

As this technology improves, gets smaller and charges the device faster and more efficiently, it is going to be a game-changer for many of us. Can you imagine if Apple jumped in and designed A new iPhone for playing a solar back panel (in addition to a wired USB-C charger for times when you need fast juice) that will power the phone slowly all day without the need for a cue pad, power bank and twist cable?

Smartphones can easily adopt this technology, but you’ll soon see it in headphones, charging cases, or even on a wireless computer mouse. Instead of the need for dinner plate-sized add-on solar panels, we also have great promise for things like small security cameras or powerful outdoor lights, including the reliable solar-charging technology we have today.

The solar wearable future looks bright. And wouldn’t it be nice to keep all those heavy charges in a drawer with all the different batteries on standby?

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