Less than a year after far-surpassing its crowdfunding goal by nearly 1000%, materials science pioneer Matrix Industries has announced the shipment of its PowerWatch to initial backers. The award-winning PowerWatch is billed as the first device of its kind to be powered by the body itself, ‘demonstrating the success of Matrix’s proprietary thermoelectric energy converter’.
PowerWatch’s energy harvesting performance is a result of three key technical advances:
- Advanced thermoelectric generators that are claimed to 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
“Of all the places on the human body to harvest heat, the outside of the wrist is one of the worst,” said Matrix CEO, Akram Boukai. “The head, bottom of the feet and even the inside of the wrist produce much more heat. Yet even with this challenge, Matrix technology is still able to maintain a temperature difference to run the PowerWatch. Just imagine what this power source could do if applied to other parts of the body.”
The PowerWatch runs off body heat so users don’t have to recharge it. When taken off, the wearer’s data is stored in memory and it goes to sleep. When put back on, the watch turns to where it last left off (with up to two years of idle mode).
The watch has an always-on power meter that tells the user how much electricity his or her body heat is producing, making it ‘the most accurate measure of calories burned on the market’. The rugged aircraft-grade aluminium wearable wirelessly syncs with a smartphone, automatically adjusts to the current time zone, tracks steps, calories and sleep, and is water resistant up to 50m.
Even without the need to charge, the PowerWatch still claims to offer the same capabilities of many battery-powered fitness wearables, without the hassle of chargers and cables.
“Research shows that the number one reason consumers stop using wearables is because they take them off to charge and forget that they exist,” continued Boukai. “The PowerWatch was designed and built with the consumer top of mind, functioning the way we want our wearables to function, without any lapses for charging. By reducing or eliminating the need for recharging, the PowerWatch is the first wearable to offer consumers this uninterrupted ability.”
PowerWatch and the special edition PowerWatch Black Ops are both shipping to initial backers and will be available for purchase this month on PowerWatch.com, starting at US$199, with premium PowerWatch X slated to ship before the end of the year.
Matrix is a Silicon Valley materials science company, founded in 2011, that is ‘committed to radically re-engineering consumers’ wearable experiences’. The team of experts in thermoelectric material science, thermal engineering and consumer product development and manufacturing, consists of PhD graduates from CalTech, MIT, Harvard and UCSD, and 25+ years of experience in manufacturing and shipping technology.