Vector Watch, which makes those 30 day Luna and Meridian smartwatches, isn't happy with its one month battery life. At MWC 2016 this week, we heard that it has worked with SunPartner Technologies on a study to see if SunPartner's Wysips Reflect tech - a transparent photovoltaic module - would improve Vector's battery life. Spoiler alert: it did.
SunPartner says it is aiming to double the battery life of Vector's smartwatches so that would be a 60 day battery life. It will extend the battery by harnessing ambient light - both natural and artificial, i.e. your office lights.
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The solar energy captured by the Reflect is then stored in the rechargeable battery. So in theory, you could keep it constantly topped up. No more dead smartwatch screens.
According to the French solar engineering company, the module is also "invisible" as it preserves 85% of what it refers to as visual qualities and "ultra thin" at less than 0.5mm thick. Plus the Reflect module, which can be laminated onto reflective screens, watch cases and dials, doesn't impact the overall design of the smartwatch.
Now, Vector's watches are already quite chunky and we weren't crazy about the displays, even though it's great they are always on. The smartwatch company needs to be careful that it finds the right balance between battery life and aesthetics.
It's not the only wearable tech company looking at solar power, though, Swarovski is still invested in the idea of a sun powered Shine smart jewellery tracker, for instance, and self-charging wearables are something of a Holy Grail for researchers and startups.
We'll keep you updated on whether Vector decides to launch a solar powered smartwatch.
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