China has developed a self-charging smart watch
Many models of mechanical wristwatches are equipped with a self-winding function - unlike wearable electronics, they do not need constant battery charging. Soon smart models may also acquire a useful self-charging function - the new technology allows using the movements of the hand of the owner of the gadget as a "power supply unit".
In a laboratory at the China University of Hong Kong (CUHK), researchers have created a compact generator capable of harvesting energy generated by motion. The device consists of less than 10 components, including a special drive for converting kinetic energy into electrical current. The tests of the invention are carried out on a mechanism that simulates a human hand.
One of the main challenges facing the engineers was the high power consumption of smartwatches compared to mechanical models - the activity of the average user was not enough to charge the gadget. To solve this problem, the researchers incorporated a magnetic component into the design, which they say can "multiply" the wearer's frequency of movement.
"The energy produced by the new generator is ten times more than comparable products on the market," said one of the research team members.
According to the developers, after entering the market, the generator can be widely used due to its low cost - about $13. The date of the commercial version of the original device is still unknown.