If I asked you to name the single biggest limitation that smartwatches have, you’d be right if you answered “battery life”. Every day, or every few days at best, you must charge a HUAWEI Watch or an Apple Watch to continue using it. That goes against the point of a watch, which is to tell the time reliably. Hybrid smartwatches have answered that limitation somewhat by offering a battery life in the 6-24-month range.
But let’s face it - even hybrid smartwatches, with their coin cell batteries, are limited by their battery. And, unfortunately, automatic movements do not generate the energy that is needed to power electrical sensors.
So, what’s the solution? Well, how about body heat. Yes, you read that right. I said body heat.
Enter, the MATRIX PowerWatch
The MATRIX PowerWatch is the world’s first smartwatch to use your body heat as its energy source. It is being marketed as “the only smartwatch that you will never have to charge”, which sounds like a killer feature to us. So, what’s the MATRIX PowerWatch all about?
Well, it uses body heat as its energy source, which isn’t a new concept. Seiko created the world’s first heat-powered watch in the Seiko Thermic. However, it doesn’t take a lot of energy to move analogue watch hands around, whereas powering a processor that can track your activity does. Enter then an all-new micro-processor manufactured by a third-party called Ambiq Micro. Ambiq Micro’s new processor runs the MATRIX PowerWatch, tracking your steps, sleep, and allowing you to set alarms and timers. Because it requires little energy to run, the MATRIX PowerWatch offers most of the features of hybrid smartwatches with indefinite battery life (so long as you wear it).
Now, I say most of the features, because the MATRIX PowerWatch can’t send push notifications from your smartphone to your wrist. All it can really do is track your activity and set alarms. That makes it a kind of half-way smartwatch, rather than a fully-fledged one. It does look good though. The stainless-steel case has a digital watch face, with a ring that runs around the display to show you real-time power.
Pricing and Availability
The MATRIX PowerWatch is available to pre-order on Indiegogo for $99. That super-low price is a small one to pay for limitless running time. However, it’s important to remember that a hybrid smartwatch such as the Withings Activité offers more features.