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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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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.


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