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Print 29 comment(s) - last by Cheesew1z69.. on Feb 3 at 7:45 PM

Techniques include magnetic induction and solar

Silicon Valley may be moving beyond smartphones and tablets and on to smart watches as the latest trend, but one problem still remains no matter the device: battery power.
 
According to The New York Times, building batteries and new charging methods that can power a device longer is all the rage in Silicon Valley, and Apple is one of the major companies trying to pioneer this particular technology.
 
The NYT article said Apple is particularly focusing its battery research efforts on its upcoming smart watch, where it's currently testing a few different methods. For instance, a magnetic induction technique has been in the works, which is similar to what Nokia has used for its smartphones. In that case, a magnetic field creates voltage to power the phone when it is placed on a charging plate.
 
Solar charging is another method being looked at by Apple, as the tech giant posted a job listing last year seeking engineers with experience in the solar power industry to work on mobile devices. This would place a solar-charging layer into the screen, which would capture sunlight as it's worn during the day. 
 
This idea goes hand-in-hand with rumors that Apple's smart watch will have both a curved display and a thin, curved battery to suit that flexible solar layer. The idea is that more sunlight can be captured for charging if the screen is curved.
 
Apple was awarded a patent for a flexible battery that would suit a device display last July. 
 
Yet another method being tested at the Cupertino giant is charging via movement. This would be especially beneficial for a smart watch, which swings on a person's wrist through the day. In 2009, Apple filed a patent for such charging technology.
 
Apple's watch was supposed to be released late last year, but reports say battery life is a major reason for the delay.
 
Other tech companies, like Microsoft, have discussed releasing smart watches as well, but we haven't seen anything recently. But Samsung announced its Android-powered Galaxy Gear smart watch in September 2013, which was released alongside the Galaxy Note 3 for $299.
 
The Galaxy Gear features a diminutive 315 mAh battery and will only last a day on a charge. Lets see if Apple can do any better.

Source: The New York Times



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It just baffles the mind....
By Cheesew1z69 on 2/3/2014 12:20:09 PM , Rating: 2
That Apple can patent shit that's been around forever...

quote:
Yet another method being tested at the Cupertino giant is charging via movement. This would be especially beneficial for a smart watch, which swings on a person's wrist through the day. In 2009, Apple filed a patent for such charging technology.


http://www.seikowatches.com/world/technology/kinet...




RE: It just baffles the mind....
By nafhan on 2/3/2014 12:43:53 PM , Rating: 3
Existing idea + "In a smart device" = New patent!
Pretty sad if you ask me.

Only somewhat related, but funny. I have a friend who used to work in a watch shop, and he always got a kick out of telling people who came in asking for a new Rolex battery that they had a fake.


RE: It just baffles the mind....
By Cheesew1z69 on 2/3/2014 12:45:24 PM , Rating: 2
Excruciatingly sad...


RE: It just baffles the mind....
By tonyswash on 2/3/14, Rating: 0
By Cheesew1z69 on 2/3/2014 2:15:28 PM , Rating: 2
Oh god, a fake TS now...


RE: It just baffles the mind....
By nafhan on 2/3/2014 3:12:09 PM , Rating: 3
I'm actually annoyed about the general concept.

However, specifically regarding the patent you linked (I took a quick look), similar systems have existed prior to that patent being filed, and, on top of that, the concept is extremely obvious to anyone with even a passing understanding of electrical generation or electric motors. Fixed magnets and wire coils - honestly, this stuff pre-dates the 20th century, much less 2009.

The "on X" here is "on printed circuit boards" rather than "on mobile", but it's the same category of patenting obvious stuff, IMO. This probably would have been patented in the 1960's if the "patent everything" mindset had been around at that point.


RE: It just baffles the mind....
By Motoman on 2/3/2014 1:11:08 PM , Rating: 3
Except now, it's not people with fake watches, it's fake people with Apple watches.


RE: It just baffles the mind....
By Flunk on 2/3/2014 1:01:21 PM , Rating: 2
I have a watch that's 40 years old that's self-winding. The technology has been around for years and years.


RE: It just baffles the mind....
By Argon18 on 2/3/2014 2:11:35 PM , Rating: 2
Storing kinetic energy is nothing new, it's true. Your watch stores it into a spring. The spring unwinds slowly over a number of hours or days, powering the watch.

Kinetic energy is also commonly stored in a flywheel in industrial and power generation industries. Even in some hybrid race cars from Porsche and others.

There's two parts to this concept; a mechanism that captures the kinetic energy, and a method to store it.

Storage can be a spring, flywheel, or electric battery.


RE: It just baffles the mind....
By mckinney on 2/3/2014 1:35:00 PM , Rating: 2
Self winding watches have been around way before that.

quote:
Over the past 20 years, Seiko has created on this platform a suite of Kinetic movements


(link wont post)

Sounds like Seiko owes someone some money


RE: It just baffles the mind....
By Solandri on 2/3/2014 2:39:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Self winding watches have been around way before that.
...
Sounds like Seiko owes someone some money

Your misunderstanding of the way patents are supposed to work is excusable given the ridiculous patents that have been granted recently.

Patents are supposed to protect a particular implementation of a solution to a problem. You can patent a device which winds a watch based on your arm's movements. You cannot patent the concept of winding a watch based on your arm's movements. At least you're not supposed to be able to.


RE: It just baffles the mind....
By nafhan on 2/3/2014 4:24:15 PM , Rating: 2
Your statement is true, but, in practice, the descriptions of the implementations are often so vague that they essentially cover the concept.


RE: It just baffles the mind....
By w8gaming on 2/3/2014 5:56:21 PM , Rating: 2
For example, rounded corner rectangle is a form of implementation. Regardless of the actual ratio of its edge and the actual curvature of its rounded corner. Regardless of other facial feature such as the differences between a round home button vs a rectangular home button. So I suppose a patent on power generation can simply name all power generation technique currently known to mankind, using terms such as "electro magnetic" or "solar power" or "kinetic energy". That seems to be how implementation is described nowadays.


RE: It just baffles the mind....
By Jeffk464 on 2/3/2014 1:40:00 PM , Rating: 2
Wait since I first got a smart phone I stopped wearing a watch, why do I want a smart watch? Only use I can see is the ultimate fitness tracking device.


RE: It just baffles the mind....
By ven1ger on 2/3/2014 2:06:20 PM , Rating: 2
A smart watch may have many other implications beyond just a watch that gives time. Fitness could be one of those, but because it is something that is close to the body, it could measure body temperature, heart monitoring, gps device, for older people, if they fall down it could trigger a call for assistance or many other health related issues. In a Dailytech article a couple of weeks ago, it had something about smart contacts for monitoring sugar for diabetics, if a smart watch could do something like that, it'd be an instant sell for diabetics.

I think there could be a place for smart watches, not as a replacement for phones/tablets, well it could maybe replace phones, like one of those spy shows where they use a watch as a telephone.

Smart watches probably need to have easily replaceable batteries if they only hold charges good for one day.

I stopped using a watch when I got my first pager. To this day, any other electronic device I carry has the time, so a watch has become superfluous. Maybe, they may see a comeback as a smartwatch if it can provide more utility for users.


RE: It just baffles the mind....
By Argon18 on 2/3/2014 2:21:44 PM , Rating: 2
"I stopped using a watch when I got my first pager. To this day, any other electronic device I carry has the time, so a watch has become superfluous."

Perhaps it is superfluous to you, but not to everyone. Using an electronic gadget (phone, pager, tablet, etc) as a timepiece is impractical in many situations.

1. Gadget requires daily charging or it stops working. Watch goes for many years at a time.

2. Gadget requires a free hand to use it. You have to pick up the device, and usually you also have to press a button to activate the screen. Watch requires only a casual glance at the wrist.

3. Gadget is not allowed in courthouse or many government facilities, especially if its got a built-in camera as most do. If you find yourself in these places often, a watch is the only option.

4. Gadget is fragile. Gadget breaks when you drop it, cannot tolerate high heat or extreme cold, is not waterproof, and usually is hard to see in direct sunlight. If you are outdoorsy person, or you spend a lot of time in extreme environments for work, watch is the only practical option.

5. Gadget may require technical expertise to operate or maintain. If your Gadget OS gets a virus or malware, needs a software update, needs reconfiguration, etc. A watch is not susceptible to these problems.

6. Loss or theft is a risk with the gadget. iPhones, Androids, etc. are all high theft items. You have to be careful not to leave it laying around in public, or accidentally forget it on the subway or in a taxi cab, or even just forget it at home when you go out. An inexpensive watch on your wrist is not a theft target and is difficult to lose.

Moral of the story is to use whatever works best for you, but be aware that your solution may be less than ideal, or even impossible, for others.


RE: It just baffles the mind....
By Jeffk464 on 2/3/2014 2:58:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, I use my watch only when on my bike or at the gym. But its still the most convenient for the two uses.


By Cheesew1z69 on 2/3/2014 2:21:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
why do I want a smart watch?
Because Apple will tell you that you need it..


Fuel Cells
By DaveLessnau on 2/3/2014 12:34:43 PM , Rating: 2
How convenient. Just above this article on DailyTech, there's an article on putting fuel cells on cockroaches and being fueled by their precious bodily fluids.

http://www.dailytech.com/Fuel+CellPacking+Cockroac...

So, since we all know what we think about Apple users, how about sticking these fuel cells on them? Then they can charge their own devices from their own bodies. Hurrah!




RE: Fuel Cells
By tonyswash on 2/3/2014 2:05:56 PM , Rating: 1
Read your comment and thought of this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4J3SdBAhhFA


RE: Fuel Cells
By Cheesew1z69 on 2/3/14, Rating: 0
RE: Fuel Cells
By tonyswash on 2/3/14, Rating: 0
RE: Fuel Cells
By Cheesew1z69 on 2/3/14, Rating: 0
RE: Fuel Cells
By tonyswash on 2/3/2014 6:55:24 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Sorry but your "hating tens of millions of people" shit is getting old, it's complete and utter biased fanboys such as yourself that people don't like.


So when DaveLessnau said this

quote:
How convenient. Just above this article on DailyTech, there's an article on putting fuel cells on cockroaches and being fueled by their precious bodily fluids.

http://www.dailytech.com/Fuel+CellPacking+Cockroac...

So, since we all know what we think about Apple users, how about sticking these fuel cells on them? Then they can charge their own devices from their own bodies. Hurrah!


He wasn't talking about Apple users even though that's who he said he was talking about?

Holding irrational adolescent resentments about people whose product choices you disagree with is bad enough but at least have the courage to not lie about it.


RE: Fuel Cells
By MrBlastman on 2/3/2014 2:53:51 PM , Rating: 2
I propose we mulch up all the Apple users and feed them to our cows and pigs. I can see the packaging now in the supermarket:

100% iDiot fed, free-range, uncaged beef (or pork).

Yum. I'm salivating at the thought of it.


RE: Fuel Cells
By tonyswash on 2/3/2014 7:04:57 PM , Rating: 2
More pathetic nonsense from the disturbed, jeez where are the grown ups?

Of course god forbid anybody should suggest that you have mental health problems involving a prejudice against tens of millions of complete strangers because they buy different products than you, according to the (admittedly cognitively challenged) Cheesew1z69 such a thing is furthest from your mind.


RE: Fuel Cells
By Cheesew1z69 on 2/3/2014 7:45:11 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
(admittedly cognitively challenged)
You just can't help yourself can you?

quote:
involving a prejudice against tens of millions of complete strangers because they buy different products than you
How fucking ironic....


RE: Fuel Cells
By KoolAidMan1 on 2/3/2014 7:27:06 PM , Rating: 2
Google alone supports nearly 50k Macs and uses OS X as one of two main development platforms.

That's a lot of stupid Appletards for your mulch pile!


Body warmth?
By techxx on 2/3/2014 1:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder how feasible it would be to charge smart watches solely off body heat. Solar powered would work well too.




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