Apple Said To Be Exploring Inductive Charging And Solar Power In iWatch Testing; Battery life for wearables is a huge concern, and the reason why is continued adoption: No end user is eager for the chance to have to remember to charge

Apple Said To Be Exploring Inductive Charging And Solar Power In iWatch Testing

Posted 20 hours ago by Darrell Etherington (@drizzled)

Apple’s work on an upcoming smartwatch includes explorations of induction charging and solar-powered batteries, according to a new report from the New York Times. As part of a larger piece about battery tech in general, the NYT revealed that Apple has been working on tests involving wireless induction charging for the smartwatch, and methods for incorporating solar panels into the display to draw power from the sun, and potentially ambient light.

Both of these are noted as technology in the testing phase for a wrist-mounted Apple wearable, which means they’re not necessarily very far along and likely not on tap for an Apple iWatch should it arrive sometime within the next year. The solar charging in particular, for example, is said to be years away from making its way into shipping product, according to the NYT’s source.

It does address a major pain point with current wearable tech, however, which might inform a hypothesis of what Apple is focusing on with any wrist-based smart device it is working on. We’ve heard from 9to5Mac that the iWatch will have a health and fitness focus, working with a new app that will come pre-installed on iOS 8 called “Healthbook.” Hardware details remain thin, but Apple did previously look into motion-based kinetic charging, which also lends credence to rumors that it’s exploring a range of power options.

Battery life for wearables is a huge concern, and the reason why is continued adoption: No end user is eager for the chance to have to remember to charge yet another device, of course, and the problem is made worse when, in forgetting to charge a wearable even once, they notice no overall impact to their lives. The double challenge then is to build a smartwatch that becomes integral to a user’s general routine, such that they’ll actively remember to charge it with the same frequency as their phone, and also to make it so that charging is a fairly infrequent requirement.

Apple has managed to sell a lot of things to people who neither users nor critics ever would’ve predicted they’d “needed” to begin with, with the iPad being the big shining example. They can probably do the same for the smartwatch, and these reports of their progress in its development signal to me they’re innovating in the right areas.


About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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