One of the biggest frustrations with many of the current smartwatches is the need to recharge them on a daily basis. In contrast, many traditional watches use an automatic movement that relies on arm movements to keep the watch running without the need for a battery. Number One Inc., a Florida-based company, is now looking to bring a similar technology to smartwatches. Should its crowdfunding campaign be successful, the Element1 could soon be the world’s first smartwatch to be powered by a kinetic battery.
The idea appears simple. The same arm movements that can keep a traditional watch wound up will instead recharge the Element1’s 230mAh battery. Depending on the amount of movement, standby time could be extended up to three weeks or more. It should also be enough to ensure that the battery remains charged through the day and that there is no need to recharge it at night.
There is a catch unfortunately. The Element1 is expected to ship by the end of the year but will do so without the kinetic battery. It should follow sometime in 2016, leaving you with a smartwatch that does need to be recharged probably every day until then.
As far as functions go, the Element1 offers many of the usual features including fitness tracking (including heart rate monitoring), call and message notifications, calendar reminders, a music player (with 2GB onboard for music to avoid dependence on a smartphone), GPS-based navigation and more.
The operating system itself is not identified but appears to be a forked version of Android, judging from the presence of Google Maps.
- Cellular connectivity: None
- Other connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0
- Display: 1.33-inch round FQVGA (240×240) touchscreen
- Internal storage: 2GB for music
- Sensors: GPS, pedometer (heart rate sensor presumably)
- Battery: 230mAh
- Case dimensions: 43mm
- Case material: Polycarbonate or steel
- Colours: Green Apple, Black Currant, Lychee, Blueberry Lime
- Other: Compatible with Android 4.2+, iOS 7+ and Windows Phone, water-resistant
The Element1 can be yours for a US$99 pledge (or US$189 for the steel model) assuming it has a successful Indiegogo campaign. But with a week already gone by and just over US$5,300 raised and a US$125,000 target, it appears that the campaign will come up short of its goal. We may have to wait a bit longer to see the first ever smartwatch with a kinetic battery.
Source : Indiegogo