Smartwatches

Transparent solar panel enables first solar-powered smartwatch

The LunaR watch is said to be waterproof up to 50 m (164 ft)
The LunaR watch is said to be waterproof up to 50 m (164 ft)
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Its creators bill LunaR as the first solar-powered smartwatch
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Its creators bill LunaR as the first solar-powered smartwatch
Solar-powered display sure are an exciting prospect
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Solar-powered display sure are an exciting prospect
The LunaR watch is said to be waterproof up to 50 m (164 ft)
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The LunaR watch is said to be waterproof up to 50 m (164 ft)
With a clear solar panel layered over the watch face, they claim LunaR can harvest energy from both natural and artificial light
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With a clear solar panel layered over the watch face, they claim LunaR can harvest energy from both natural and artificial light
The LunaR watch is said to be waterproof up to 50 m (164 ft)
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The LunaR watch is said to be waterproof up to 50 m (164 ft)
An early pledge of $138 will have a LunaR watch headed your way in December if the Kickstarter campaign goes to plan
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An early pledge of $138 will have a LunaR watch headed your way in December if the Kickstarter campaign goes to plan
The LunaR watch is said to be waterproof up to 50 m (164 ft)
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The LunaR watch is said to be waterproof up to 50 m (164 ft)
With a clear solar panel layered over the watch face, they claim LunaR can harvest energy from both natural and artificial light
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With a clear solar panel layered over the watch face, they claim LunaR can harvest energy from both natural and artificial light

Solar-powered watches are nothing new, but being more power-hungry beasts, solar-powered smartwatches are a different story. A San Francisco-based startup called LunaR now claims to have bridged the divide by developing a smartwatch that never needs to be plugged in for a recharge as it draws all the energy it needs from the sun.

The LunaR, which is the subject of a crowdfunding campaign, appears a rather stylish timepiece, with a clean and basic watch face that works with a companion smartphone app to offer much of the functionality we've come to expect from today's smartwatches. That includes sleep and activity tracking, along with integration with social media and messaging apps to bring notifications to the wrist through an embedded LED array.

At the heart of what the creators claim is the world's first solar-powered smartwatch is (unsurprisingly) a breakthrough in solar technology. With a clear solar panel layered over the watch face, it's claimed the LunaR can harvest energy from both natural and artificial light. So much so, that with as little as one hour of daily exposure to light, its 110-mAh lithium-polymer battery can apparently stay fully charged.

With a clear solar panel layered over the watch face, they claim LunaR can harvest energy from both natural and artificial light
With a clear solar panel layered over the watch face, they claim LunaR can harvest energy from both natural and artificial light

There are a couple of other handy-sounding features. One is an ability to automatically update the time it displays depending on where you are in the world by using the phone's GPS. It will automatically display sunrise and sunset info, integrates with apps like Apple Health and Google Health, and is waterproof up to 50 m (164 ft). It also comes with a USB charger should you need to recharge the conventional way.

It must be said, a real market-ready device that is energy independent like this would be a sizable leap for consumer electronics. Japanese company Kyocera has been toiling away at a solar-powered display for its phones for years, finally showing off a prototype at Mobile World Congress last year. Granted smartwatches and smartphones are different products with different energy needs, but it does show that such things don't come easy.

Who knows, maybe the folks behind LunaR are packing some game-breaking solar tech. Almost 500 backers on Kickstarter believe that they might be, pledging almost US$90,000 at the time of writing. If you too are keen to get behind the project, then an early pledge of $138 will have a LunaR watch headed your way in December if all goes to plan.

You can check out the pitch video below.

Source: LunaR

LunaR, the world’s first solar powered smartwatch.

1 comment
anonymous
just making sure. these are NOT smart watches. what is happening is simple, different watch manufacturers realized that the time of their watches is gone, so they try to pretend that their watches are smart by adding phone connectivity, solar capabilities, etc. what makes a smart watch smart? 1. the underlying operating system allows you install applications from a large application base. this is extremely important as different apps can now run in android watch 2.0 without depending on the phone. display is clearly a color one. 2. applications can be developed easily and not using proprietary protocols, frameworks, etc. This is crucially important because without it, new/existing apps will not make to the platform. 3. user experience is consistent for many hardware vendors. Apple Watch (and apple in general) are about the leave the stage again, just like they did in the 80s. so, the entire crowd of so called smart watch manufacturers are a bunch of pretenders. the only 2 smart watches are Apple Watch and Android based watches (from various vendors). the rest is a futile attempt to full a technically illiterate market segment (the imbecile consumer). I do not believe that they will succeed. time will tell.
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