The Matrix industries have been working on their product, the PowerWatch for quite some time now and after gaining huge backing on Indigogo, it is finally here. Smartwatches have been in circulation for a long time now but they need to be charged after almost 24 hours of use. Imagine having the same features as a smartwatch but not having to worry about running out of charge.
Matrix industries utilized the same principle that Seiko used to power its Thermico analog wristwatch back in 1998. The technology has no doubt made huge leaps and advancements in the past two decades and it is no longer just a dream or a limited edition watch. It has already started shipping to backers and is available to order for $169 at the company’s website.
Granted that this is not an Apple watch and does not compete with Samsung’s wearables, but it is the first of its kind to be powered by body heat. It has limited features for now with and black and white dot matrix display that counts calories and tracks your steps and sleep. However, the company says that new features like a colored display and GPS will be added in the later version of the PowerWatch.
Here is what the company has to say about their product.
PowerWatch energy harvesting performance is a result of three key technical advances unmatched by current technologies, namely:
- Advanced thermoelectric generators that operate more efficiently than available power generators.
- More efficient boost conversion circuitry to power the electronics and charge the internal battery.
- Pioneering thermal design to harvest the small amount of available heat within a wearable form-factor.
“Two years ago, when we started making our really ugly prototypes and we’d be meeting with these companies, they’d be like, ‘that’s really good,’ and a pat on the head,” explains Matrix co-founder Akram Boukai, when asked why the company didn’t simply attempt to sell its proprietary tech to a Sony or Apple rather than undertaking the rather thankless job of launching a hardware startup. “The only way to show that this is legit is to go through this really hellish process that we’ve been doing for the last four years. I wish it was easier.”
One thing the critics have raised their concerns over is that there is a replaceable lithium-ion battery inside which should last a better part of a year. The justification given is that you need some power to start it up and for the watch to stay in power to track your information when it is not on your wrist or synced to your phone. As Boukai says “We’re not competing with Apple, Samsung or Garmin. That would be ludicrous.” It is still a breakthrough technology and has a lot of future prospects.
The video below shows what the PowerWatch is all about: