One thing that has been a frustrating drawback on smartwatches is their poor battery life. Smartwatches, from Samsung and others, have been around the block for a few years now but making their battery last longer, has been an uphill task.
Actually, their battery life has gotten shorter as more functionalities are being added to the watches while they largely remain the same size, making it impossible to stick in a larger battery as is the case with most smartphones.
The battery life of the first Galaxy Watch lasted a respectable 4 days; by the time we got to the Galaxy Watch 3, the battery life had dropped to a mere 24 hours. The new Galaxy Watch 4, on the other hand, promises a battery life of between 24 and 48 hours. However, a new patent from Samsung as reported by LetsGoDigital shows that this may soon no longer be a concern.
The patent refers to Samsung developing a solar watch band that will continuously charge the watch via solar energy as one goes about their everyday tasks. In an ideal world, this means that instances of your smartwatches running out of juice will be long gone.
Samsung will not be the first company exploring solar charging for wearables as Garmin and Casio have already demonstrated that it is a viable strategy. Garmin, in particular, has a few variants ranging from the affordable Instinct Solar to its more expensive variants, the Fenix 6 series and Tactix Delta
LetsGoDigital states that in mid-2019, Samsung Electronics filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for an ‘Electronic device comprising solar cells of multiple types’.
Earlier this year, on 12th January, Samsung then provided additional documentation, after which the 22-page patent was published on 16th September 2021.
Ideally, solar cells will be placed on both sides of the watch case to ensure sufficient sunlight can be collected, no matter how the watch is worn.
It is theorised that Samsung uses a polymer with quantum dots to change the light path and several solar cells that can perform photoelectric conversion. The solar cells capture the light that passes through the polymer, after which the light is converted into electrical energy.
Different types of solar cells will be used, with different wavelength bands, therefore ensuring a high efficiency can be achieved. This will translate to the watch only needing a few hours of sunlight or fluorescent light in order to be able to function continuously.
Since the initial patent application was made a while back in 2019, and more information added to it this year, we can safely assume Samsung has been working on this technology for quite some time and the Korean company is now ramping it up in preparation of a release sometime in the near future.
The Galaxy Watch 4 lineup got its release in the last month, and I personally feel expecting the Galaxy Watch 5 to be solar powered will leave you disappointed. More time will be ideally needed to perfect the technology and to also bring a solution that will not be a downgrade to what’s available in the market.
My best bet is the Galaxy Watch 5 will not be tampered with, instead Samsung will create a new wearable lineup that its selling point will be that it is solar-powered.
Pictured: Samsung Galaxy Watch 4