Smartwatches may soon be powered by wearers, researchers aim to use energy from human movements

Apple Watch

Researchers in the CUHK (Chinese University of Hong Kong) are studying a new method to harvest energy from human movements. The results of the study could bring about a shift in the technology used in wearable technology like smartwatches in the near future.

According to an SCMP report, the researchers are studying a swinging metal pole that is designed to mimic the movements of the human arms. The device that is built to harvest energy from this movement utilizes a highly compact generator, which contains under 10 components. This includes a motion capture unit and a power generation unit. The primary aim of this study is to harvest energy created by human motion to power smartwatches and wristbands.

The research began earlier this year after a boom in wearable devices was observed across the globe. In recent times, the industry for smartwatches and other wearables has grown and is expected to rise even further once the market recovers from the Coronavirus pandemic. In 2019, the wearable industry had become a 20.65 billion US Dollar market, which is projected to reach 96.31 billion US Dollars by 2027.

Furthermore, this category has also become increasingly health centric, with OEMs offering features that help users map their blood oxygen levels, heart rate, sleep patterns, and more. With the growth of health enthusiasts, this technology will also benefit the entire consumer market as well. At the moment, the primary concern with such devices is always the battery life, but the technology might be a stepping stone to a device that can sustain itself through just human motion. Since wearables have already saved lives in the recent past, not having to remove them for charging is another positive outcome.

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