Solar power (power obtained by harnessing energy from the sun - or any compatible light source) has been used to successfully power wristwatches for a long time. But smartwatches are trickier, because they use a lot more power than standard timepieces.
For instance, a regular coin-cell battery will power a Quartz wristwatch for at least a few years. On a hybrid smartwatch, that timeframe drops to less than twelve months. OEMS can extract more battery life from their devices, but to do so, they must dumb them down. They must sacrifice functionality. I’m sure you see the problem.
Solar power could well be the answer - solar energy successfully powers a wide range of Seiko and Citizen devices - but at what cost? The answer to that question is simple: at no cost whatsoever. Or at least that’s what appears to be the case with the LunaR, which is the world’s first solar powered smartwatch and a potential game-changer.
The LunaR is a unique solar powered smartwatch borne from a Kickstarter project with a $50,000 goal. At the time of writing, $118,974 has been pledged to the Kickstarter project to bring the LunaR to life. Shipping is set to commence for the 2017 holiday season.
As for the watch itself, the dial is a solar panel that feeds a battery which in turn powers a multitude of sensors. You get all the usual hybrid smartwatch functionality: Step count tracking, sleep tracking, calorie tracking, smartphone notification alerts through an LED, and of course, the LunaR has an analogue watch face that accurately tells you the time.
Because it has been designed to be as energy-efficient as possible, there’s no digital dial readout, nor is there an analogue activity tracking progress dial on the watch’s face. The watch face is blank but with clean branding and rings set into the dial, to seemingly mimic the path of planets. The case is 41mm in size, and you get a choice of a sapphire coated glass or a sapphire crystal glass (the latter will see delivery in 2018).
As for battery life there’s none to speak of. So long as you have access to a source of indoor or outdoor light, the LunaR will tick along nicely (no pun intended).
Interested? Visit the official Kickstarter page to pledge your support and back the project. $99 will get you one LunaR smartwatch, although you can pledge as much as $9,900. As we previously touched upon, devices will start shipping in 2017 and 2018 depending on spec.