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Apple Reportedly Testing Inductive, Solar and Motion Charging For Its Smartwatch

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the riddle-wrapped-in-a-mystery-inside-an-enigma dept.

Apple 219

An anonymous reader writes in with the latest from the rumor mill about a possible Apple smartwatch. "We've heard that when Apple reveals its first smartwatch product, there's going to be a heavy focus on health and fitness, but There might also be a way to charge the wearable without plugging it in, according to a report from the New York Times. Inductive charging came in a wave of smartphones last year, including Google's Nexus 4 and Nokia's Lumia 920 range, although we don't often see it in anything smaller than a phone (or camera) form-factor. Apple, however, is looking into cramming the same technology into its iWatch, or whatever it eventually calls its debut wearable."

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219 comments

Apple tests everything (5, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 3 months ago | (#46139069)

These are basically all the possible ways to recharge a wristwatch that currently exist, except for physical mechanical contacts. This shouldn't be surprising because if there's one thing history has taught us, it's that Apple tries out practically every permutation of hardware in the R&D process. There were rumours that the "Apple tablet" would come in three screen sizes; it was later revealed that Apple had been testing three sizes on its campus to decide which one it preferred. There were rumours that they'd launch a version with no mechanical buttons; it was disclosed that Apple had tested that permutation too.

Whenever you read an Apple product rumour, before you even question the legitimacy of the source, ask yourself: is there any reason to suppose this is any more than a speculative prototype on their part?

Re:Apple tests everything (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139181)

No, they don't.

Apple's hallmark is to rush a product to market without thoroughly testing it. Hence, all the technical and usability problems since Jobs took over on the second go round, and, hence, the classic line by Apple apologists, "Never buy the first iteration of an Apple product."

Re:Apple tests everything (5, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 3 months ago | (#46139217)

No, they don't.

Apple's hallmark is to rush a product to market without thoroughly testing it. Hence, all the technical and usability problems since Jobs took over on the second go round, and, hence, the classic line by Apple apologists, "Never buy the first iteration of an Apple product."

It's usually a good rule do thumb to never buy the first iteration of any computer software or hardware product at all, especially software.

The rest of your post is either blatant trolling or a symptom of some psychological disorder and so not worthy of a response.

Re:Apple tests everything (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139237)

***It's usually a good rule do thumb to never buy the first iteration of any computer software or hardware product at all, especially software.***

Not hardware -- only the Apple fanboys make such statements about hardware, because Apple has such a terrible history of problems.

By the way, you're holding it wrong!

Re:Apple tests everything (0, Troll)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 3 months ago | (#46139293)

***It's usually a good rule do thumb to never buy the first iteration of any computer software or hardware product at all, especially software.***

Not hardware -- only the Apple fanboys make such statements about hardware, because Apple has such a terrible history of problems.

By the way, you're holding it wrong!

Ok, I revise my previous statement, you are not trolling, you clearly need therapy.

Re:Apple tests everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139319)

Well at least we aren't in the hold of Jobs reality distortion field. How long has he been dead now? Its surprising people still fall for his blatant lies.

Re:Apple tests everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139445)

Well at least we aren't in the hold of Jobs reality distortion field. How long has he been dead now? Its surprising people still fall for his blatant lies.

You need help....

Re:Apple tests everything (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139615)

Obvious trolling aside, "you're holding it wrong" was a claim about a fourth generation product, not a first. So much for that rule.

Re:Apple tests everything (2)

geogob (569250) | about 3 months ago | (#46139709)

I think your are mixing things up. The iPhone 4 was not the 4th generation of a product. It was the 4th series of mobile telephone produced by Apple, but the first geneation of that particular series. Depending on what you call a generation, your might agree or not with this view, but considering very little remained from the 3rd series in the design of the 4th, I'm inclinded to believe this view is correct.

It's a bit like with cars... you never buy the first cars produced on a new production line. never. If your do, you'll pay for it. Even if model X was sold previously, maybe from different production lines, the first generation of model X built on a new line will always be flawed (both due to production adjustment and engineering flaws). This is the "rule" which was refered to and it holds quite well for the iPhone 4, I would say.

Re:Apple tests everything (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 months ago | (#46139409)

I think that you are talking about slightly different things: Apple has the reputation (they don't tend to show prototypes; but as best people have been able to tell it's deserved) for exhaustive pre-release testing of various design permutations. When they release something, it's already been tried in a zillion variants, and they aren't sending it out as a 'trial balloon' to see if the market likes it (occasionally they fuck up and have to backtrack, as with that iteration of the iPod shuffle that eliminated all input on the device in favor of controls in the headphones; but they don't like doing that).

However, they also have the reputation, also fairly well deserved(if, in fairness, probably partially because of their willingness to discard last year's design in favor of something new, rather than just spec bumping it and changing the plastics color), for inadequate testing of details of mechanical, materials, and sometimes board design considerations that become evident once a larger number of units hit the real world. iPod Nanos that scratch like crazy, palm rests that yellow surprisingly swiftly on contact with human skin and gross user-goo, that sort of thing.

When Apple releases a new product, the design has almost certainly been exhaustively tested against other possible configurations; but (partially because of their obsessive secrecy, partially because this sort of testing is just hard without a very large test population), it is quite common for Rev. A to have some sort of nasty weakness show up in the weeks or months following release, usually caused by a material properties or design detail that wasn't evident at a prototype scale.

Re:Apple tests everything (1)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 3 months ago | (#46139865)

moving controls off the main unit is an absolute abortion of a design decision. Case in point: the Grundig MD-P1 personal minidisc player. All the controls are are on a pod, the only control on the unit itself is a mechanical eject. It works great until the cable splits, then you have a paperweight unless you want to fork out for a spare control pod - which is also the only way to connect a pair of headphones.

(source: had one)

Re:Apple tests everything (5, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 months ago | (#46139313)

Except you can write off solar instantly. There is not enough square inches to charge your smartwatch on your wrist. Some regular digitals get away with it because displaying the time on an LCD takes almost no power. Talking BT to your phone and all the smart stuff takes a buttload more power, way over what a small solar cell can deliver. (And honestly, the solar watches do NOT recharge, they simply offset power use their batteries eventually die and need replacement)

Re: Apple tests everything (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139423)

Hmm. What if it used e-ink for a display and only displayed the actual time when a button was pressed?

Thats's kind of the goofy thing about watches. They don't need to display something all the time.

I would love a true solar watch that looks good and will last forever. Screw all that smart stuff.

Re:Apple tests everything (1)

mrbester (200927) | about 3 months ago | (#46139521)

What if (speculating, don't even know if it could possibly work) the entire screen had solar cells behind it? Can light pass through the display if it isn't blocked by an active pixel (in other words, can inactive pixels be transparent)?

Re:Apple tests everything (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about 3 months ago | (#46139697)

From wikipedia:

The most efficient mass-produced solar modules[disputed – discuss] have energy density values of up to 175 W/m2.

Let's say Apple uses a big solar panel of 5x5 cm behind a screen. This corresponds to an optimistic 175/400 = 0.44 W output.

For comparison: a typical idle phone uses about 50mW of energy, while a phone in "talking mode" consumes 2 W of energy.

Re:Apple tests everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139833)

an optimistic 175/400 = 0.44 W output ... For comparison: a typical idle phone uses about 50mW of energy

Did you change the scale on purpose to make solar sound worse? 50 milliwatts is 0.05 watts or in other words such a solar cell could cover the idle power draw.

There isn't enough power in solar to make it worth adding to a phone because phones are in a pocket a lot and are easier to hook up to a charger, but it could make sense on a watch that is in light most of the time and is mostly a display. Apple has patents on putting solar into a display.

Combine that with motion charging and you have an accessory that can last much longer. I doubt it will have these things, but it isn't a crazy idea.

Re:Apple tests everything (1)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 3 months ago | (#46139889)

an optimistic 175/400 = 0.44 W output ... For comparison: a typical idle phone uses about 50mW of energy

Apple has patents on putting solar into a display.

Really?? Prior art on commercially available solar embedded displays goes back to the 70's...

Re:Apple tests everything (1)

shokk (187512) | about 3 months ago | (#46139893)

I’m going to assume nobody is talking on their watch, but also assume idle isn’t the norm either. .44W is 440 mW so that’s 800% of idle mode, but 25% of talk mode which may not be bad for just BT.
Not bad for casual charging.
If you consider Citizen watches with solar vs Pebble, what are the values for consumption and generation?

Re:Apple tests everything (3, Informative)

asylumx (881307) | about 3 months ago | (#46139723)

all the smart stuff takes a buttload more power

You measure power in gallons?


(a "butt" as a unit of measure is approximately 126 gallons)

Re:Apple tests everything (1)

delt0r (999393) | about 3 months ago | (#46139749)

My solar watch was working fine after more than 16 years. Never replaced a battery. Unfortunately i got mugged and it was stolen. Just a few hours in the sun was more than enough to run it for weeks.

Re:Apple tests everything (1)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 3 months ago | (#46139787)

Except you can write off solar instantly.

Especially since people today are very rarely outdoors, in sunlight. Solar panels generate much less power from artifical light.

Re:Apple tests everything (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 months ago | (#46139921)

It is only because the amount of light is drastically lower, an office is tens of magnitudes dimmer than outside in full sun. when you put a solar panel under a 2500 watt grow light that is close to solar output, they do fine.

Re:Apple tests everything (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 months ago | (#46139367)

Aside from the legitimacy of the source, it is probably worth asking whether the 'source' is actually revealing anything. As you say, those are pretty much the methods by which rechargeable watches are recharged, omitting only physical contacts, which are somewhat inelegant, hard to keep clean, and not very 'Apple'.

It's quite possible that the source is correct; but you hardly need insider information to hypothesize that 'If Apple is making a watch, they'll test today's common methods for recharging watches'.

Re:Apple tests everything (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 3 months ago | (#46139431)

Yeah, how about the one where they put motion charging on the Iphone , so the more you talk , the more energy it stores.
Doesnt this seem a more natural evolution for the product? We can turn a problem into an asset.
Sing with Ving ! :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Re:Apple tests everything (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 3 months ago | (#46139531)

motion charging on your watch... its not porn, its an "interactive battery charging assistance aid"!

Re:Apple tests everything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139577)

These are basically all the possible ways to recharge a wristwatch that currently exist

What about hooking a dynamo to a small Sterling Engine? [youtube.com]

So long as you're not dead it should charge via body heat. The moving parts will ensure it has a finite life span, so it's got more built in forced obsolescence than a battery; And it really 1ups that Nixie tube watch Woz wears. 60's retro? Ha, try steampunk!

They could call it the iCarnot. Which sounds like "I can not" -- as in "I can not give a fuck about a watch that's not worth watching."

just walk over the inductive pads for buses (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 3 months ago | (#46139087)

just walk over the inductive pads for buses [bbc.co.uk] and have your hand burned off at the wrist

Re:just walk over the inductive pads for buses (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139131)

Physics is hard, let's go shopping!

Make the watch a phone. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139095)

For people who don't want data plans. The watch should be a phone.

Re:Make the watch a phone. (0)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 3 months ago | (#46139157)

What about tethering?

Do the 3G iPads sell? I wouldn't pay a $US130 markup over the wifi model for a device that couldn't do voice calls.

If I was an Apple customer I'd buy a wifi iPad + smart-watch combo.

Re:Make the watch a phone. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 months ago | (#46139315)

You are not their target market, that is why it is priced that way.

£10 says.... (5, Insightful)

Philip Mather (2889417) | about 3 months ago | (#46139097)

...they miss the point and try and make it sing, dance & make morning toast for you and that the motion and solar charging is a frantic attempt to make the battery life acceptable. Inductive charging would be good but anyone in the smart watch arena needs to take a leaf out o Pebbles book and keep it simple.

Re:£10 says.... (3, Funny)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 3 months ago | (#46139159)

isn't it just an iPod nano with a wrist-band?

Re:£10 says.... (3, Insightful)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 3 months ago | (#46139333)

If Jobs was still around that would probably be it. Except it wouldn't have taken this long to develop.

Re:£10 says.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139559)

I think we already have iPod nanos with wrist bands, I though they had been around since before Mr. Jobs passed.

Re:£10 says.... (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 3 months ago | (#46139813)

"& make morning toast for you"

That would really cut down on the battery life...

But seriously who TF wears a watch these days?
I haven't had a wrist watdh for more than 12 years.

Re:£10 says.... (2)

rreay (50160) | about 3 months ago | (#46139849)

This might be the first time I've ever heard someone speculate about Apple putting in too many features.

Duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139107)

They are still testing something like this? Samsung's Galaxy Gear came out already. The capability to quickly bring attractive and reliable products to market is a key factor in modern electronics industry.

Re:Duh? (5, Insightful)

Tx (96709) | about 3 months ago | (#46139203)

Apple didn't make a success of the iPhone by being first to market with a smartphone, they did it by getting it right. I'm no Apple fanboy, and I own no Apple products, but current smartwatches are a joke, and if anyone is going to take the concept beyond niche/gimmick level, it wouldn't entirely surprise me if it was Apple.

Re:Duh? (2)

paziek (1329929) | about 3 months ago | (#46139241)

Yeah, they didn't make a success of the Apple TV, so its not like everything they touch magically becomes popular. They had their failures in the past.

Re:Duh? (4, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 3 months ago | (#46139439)

Yeah, they didn't make a success of the Apple TV, so its not like everything they touch magically becomes popular. They had their failures in the past.

Apple TV outsells for example Xbox 360 for the last two years, Wii U, and probably a lot of other devices that you think are very successful.

Re:Duh? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 months ago | (#46139783)

The XBOX 350 had sold about 80m units worldwide last year, compared to about 13m for the Apple TV. The only reason the Apple TV is now selling more is because the 360 has reached saturation point. The Wii U is widely regarded as a failure and the sales figures reflect that.

Not disputing that the Apple TV has done okay, but your claims are distorting the truth somewhat.

Re:Duh? (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 3 months ago | (#46139847)

The XBOX 350 had sold about 80m units worldwide last year, compared to about 13m for the Apple TV. The only reason the Apple TV is now selling more is because the 360 has reached saturation point.

Your writing is misleading - Xbox 360 sold maybe 80 million units up to and including last year, not last year. Big difference. And of course Apple TV is just at the beginning. But right now they are selling more than Xbox 360 every quarter, and have done for two years, and still increasing.

Re:Duh? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 3 months ago | (#46139897)

Who thinks the Wii U is successful? And the 360 has been out for almost a decade. Apple TV outselling it the last two years means that people may have stopped replacing their 360s as much, not that apple TV sold a lot.

Re:Duh? (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 3 months ago | (#46139329)

Pebble users would generally disagree with you. What they do, they do very well.

Re:Duh? (1, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | about 3 months ago | (#46139411)

microsoft had those timex smart watches that updated by facing the watch to the monitor which then flashed to transfer the data. that was what mid 90's.

Smart watches have existed in some form for a while. the problem has always been the UI is to small to do much with.

personally I think Apple will wait until they can get a decent laser projector to work on your arm. Sort of like that laser keyboard only wrist worthy.

Re:Duh? (1)

Pikoro (844299) | about 3 months ago | (#46139635)

Wow.. I totally forgot about those. And I HAD one. Timex Datalink. Talk about a walk down memory lane... Thanks! :)

Re:Duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139989)

Apple didn't make a success of the iPhone by being first to market with a smartphone, they did it by getting it right

The iPhone was already a success before it had "smart" functionality added. It was a dumbphone at launch and succeeded as a dumbphone.

Re:Duh? (1)

lexman098 (1983842) | about 3 months ago | (#46140089)

current smartwatches are a joke

I don't know. The pebble is ugly, but I'm pretty partial to the smartwatch2 from sony. It looks nice, it's the thinnest out there and it doesn't have any "deal-breakers". Everything about it is pretty decent, although there's no killer features. It does only what you would expect a simple smartwatch to do.

Re: Duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139239)

The Gear is neither attractrive nor reliable. It's a piece of shit. Even Scamsung admits it. It was just like a typical "First!!" posting on any forum.

Re: Duh? (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 3 months ago | (#46139351)

Not really first post. Sony has had smartwatches for longer. Heck IBM demonstrated a smartwatch running Linux year back.

Re: Duh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139381)

As the previous AC said, it was just like the typical "First!" posting on any forum.

Re: Duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139399)

Casio had the Ironman smart watches (it's a stretch, I know) back in the 1980's, complete with sync via your CRT screen.

Re:Duh? (5, Interesting)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 3 months ago | (#46139253)

They are still testing something like this? Samsung's Galaxy Gear came out already. The capability to quickly bring attractive and reliable products to market is a key factor in modern electronics industry.

Why are they testing this iPod thing? I mean Creative Labs and others have come out with MP3 players already. The ability to quickly bring attractive and reliable products to market is a key factor in modern electronics industry (so there isn't a hope in hell this iPod thing will ever be a commercial success).

The thing is that first to market is not everything. You also have to design the stuff you bring to market well and Apple has a history of appealing to customers by successfully reinventing/redesigning stuff that others have implemented badly and Apple evidently believes they can do it again.

Re:Duh? (0)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 3 months ago | (#46139363)

Its more like marketing. BTW the only MP3 player I ever bought was from Creative Labs and at least their bundled headphones weren't a complete POS. I plugged it in and i looked just like any other USB pen and I can drag and drop MP3 files into it easily. Much better than having to use iTunes.

Re:Duh? (3, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 3 months ago | (#46139475)

Its more like marketing. BTW the only MP3 player I ever bought was from Creative Labs and at least their bundled headphones weren't a complete POS. I plugged it in and i looked just like any other USB pen and I can drag and drop MP3 files into it easily. Much better than having to use iTunes.

And yet for some reason millions upon millions of people disagreed and bought the iPod, and don't tell me it was just marketing. There is always more to a blockbuster hit it than just marketing.

Re:Duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139757)

I think the 20/40 GB of music vs the 64 mb that conventional MP3 players offered was the key. I hate itunes with a passion but i only have to deal with it to sync music.

Re:Duh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139379)

Or you can also state it as CmdrTaco's infamous quote about the iPod... "No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame."

Android killed the iPod (0)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 3 months ago | (#46140005)

Or you can also state it as CmdrTaco's infamous quote about the iPod... "No wireless. Less space than a Nomad. Lame."

...and has been proved right. Android Phones have killed off the iPod market.

Re:Duh? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 3 months ago | (#46139807)

I'd argue that most first generation Apple products are implemented badly too. The iPod took a good couple of years to really gain traction, by which time they had managed to improve the hardware and most critically the software to a usable state. Beyond that the hype machine made sure every new product would sell, but did little to improve the implementation of early versions.

Apple Copied Creative (0)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 3 months ago | (#46139957)

They are still testing something like this? Samsung's Galaxy Gear came out already. The capability to quickly bring attractive and reliable products to market is a key factor in modern electronics industry.

Why are they testing this iPod thing? I mean Creative Labs and others have come out with MP3 players already. The ability to quickly bring attractive and reliable products to market is a key factor in modern electronics industry (so there isn't a hope in hell this iPod thing will ever be a commercial success).

The thing is that first to market is not everything. You also have to design the stuff you bring to market well and Apple has a history of appealing to customers by successfully reinventing/redesigning stuff that others have implemented badly and Apple evidently believes they can do it again.

I leave the whole quote just to show how history is being slowly rewritten. The short version is Apple ripped off Creative Labs Menu and ended with Apple agreeing to pay Creative $100 million US. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]

Re:Apple Copied Creative (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46140039)

They are still testing something like this? Samsung's Galaxy Gear came out already. The capability to quickly bring attractive and reliable products to market is a key factor in modern electronics industry.

Why are they testing this iPod thing? I mean Creative Labs and others have come out with MP3 players already. The ability to quickly bring attractive and reliable products to market is a key factor in modern electronics industry (so there isn't a hope in hell this iPod thing will ever be a commercial success).

The thing is that first to market is not everything. You also have to design the stuff you bring to market well and Apple has a history of appealing to customers by successfully reinventing/redesigning stuff that others have implemented badly and Apple evidently believes they can do it again.

I leave the whole quote just to show how history is being slowly rewritten. The short version is Apple ripped off Creative Labs Menu and ended with Apple agreeing to pay Creative $100 million US. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org]

Yeah, talk about patenting the obvious. That reads like classic patent trolling exercise of exactly the a same nature as Apple is accused of perpetrating on Samsung.

Re:Duh? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 months ago | (#46139317)

and the samsung gear is a complete and utter failure. the Sony smartwatch is a failure as well and that was out before samsung.

THERE WILL BE NO IWATCH (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139165)

Beleive me. Apple just distracts the press from the real new product. Nobody wears watches nowadays.

Re:THERE WILL BE NO IWATCH (2)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 3 months ago | (#46139327)

Nobody wears watches nowadays.

Instead they wear a small clock attached to a strap wrapped around their wrist.

Re:THERE WILL BE NO IWATCH (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 3 months ago | (#46139371)

I use one. A Casio G-Shock.

Re: THERE WILL BE NO... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139395)

Precisely, nobody wears watches nowadays.

Re:THERE WILL BE NO IWATCH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139713)

I wear a casio calculator watch, it was only 19.99 CDN. I bought both they had left.

Haute horologie. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139167)

In prestigious swiss wrist-watches, mechanical designs have long been automatic, meaning there is a flat heavy metal half-circle rotor hidden in it, which winds up the motor spring as the owner moves around. This kind of watch needs to be worn at least 9-10 hours a day or placed on a special winder pedestal to prevent the 42-hour power reserve running out. When you see people wearing these watches, like a Longines, Omega or Rolex, you know they are more than well-off, because they have enough leisure time on their hands (literally) to keep these watches fully wound, by leading an active life, e.g. tennis, golf, sailing, horses, dance at the ball. (Sitting in front of a computer all days can't keep an ETA-2892A2 or similar mechanisms running.)

Therefore, if Apple adopts the motion charging method, it will be because they wan't to project an image of luxury and elite, which is beyond the yuppie grade.

Inaccuracies by AC (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about 3 months ago | (#46139353)

1. Near as I can tell, it's approximately 10 seconds of 'active' wear per hour of time-keeping. With a 48 hour reserve, that's approximately 4 minutes a day of 'active wear' to keep the watch 'fully' charged. source [selfdefensearmory.com]
2. Watch winders are often hideously priced, but should only be necessary if you keep self-winding watches like women keep shoes. If you have one, no problem, with 2 you're still fine if you alternate.

That being said, I'd imaging power requirements for something apple would be higher than simply keeping time, so you might need somebody very active.

Re:Haute horologie. (3, Informative)

jabuzz (182671) | about 3 months ago | (#46139391)

Except they are mechanical winding. The Sekio Kinetic which turns that into electrical charging seems to keep my watch working just fine, and I sit at a computer all day as my job.

Of course the issue is that mechanical electrical generation aka Sekio Kinetic http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A... [wikipedia.org] and solar electrical generation aka the Citizen EcoDrive http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E... [wikipedia.org] provide tiny amounts of power to keep a watch going, and could not provide anywhere near sufficient power for a smart watch.

Re:Haute horologie. (2)

soundguy (415780) | about 3 months ago | (#46139547)

There's nothing "elite" about the mechanism. I got a self-winding watch made by Seiko for my 18th birthday in 1973. I don't know what it cost, but we were a decidedly middle-class family. Still works great BTW.

Re:Haute horologie. (1)

mrbester (200927) | about 3 months ago | (#46139557)

My Lorus kinetic watch (bought 15 years ago for the princely sum of £20 so hardly prestigious) has a battery that will last 9 months if kept motionless. The problem is it doesn't have the juice to power a smartwatch. The advantage is it doesn't need to...

"Motion charging" (2)

cerberusss (660701) | about 3 months ago | (#46139175)

"Motion charging".... hehehehe.... yeah I bet they test that a lot at Apple.

Re:"Motion charging" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139215)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released its annual Climate Protection Partnerships report, highlighting the steps more than 21,000 organizations across the United States have taken to reduce greenhouse gas pollution while achieving significant environmental and economic benefits.

“The urgency to act on climate change is clear,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “Through investments in cleaner technologies and energy-efficient practices, EPA’s Climate Protection Partners show us that we can cut the harmful carbon pollution that fuels climate change and protects public health—while continuing to grow a strong, sustainable economy.”

The achievements outlined in this report support the goals of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan by cutting energy waste, encouraging energy efficiency, and saving money for American families and businesses. The report, "EPA’s Office of Atmospheric Programs Climate Protection Partnerships 2012 Annual Report" includes accomplishments such as:

-- In 2012, EPA's climate protection programs prevented 365 million metric tons of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions—equivalent to the emissions from the annual electricity use of more than 50 million homes.

-- Americans saved more than $26 billion on their utility bills in 2012 with the help of ENERGY STAR® and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to the annual electricity use of 35 million homes.

-- Since the Green Power Partnership was introduced in 2001, more than 1,400 organizations have committed to using about 29 billion kilowatt-hours of green power each year.

-- More than 450 partners have installed over 5,700 megawatts of new combined heat and power since the Combined Heat and Power Partnership launched in 2001.

-- In 2012, EPA’s methane and fluorinated greenhouse-gas-program partners used EPA tools and resources to prevent emissions equal to the annual electricity use from more than 10 million homes.

-- In total, more than 21,000 organizations and millions of Americans have partnered with the EPA through the Office of Atmospheric Programs’ climate partnerships and produced significant environmental benefits.

EPA’s climate protection programs continue to advance greenhouse gas reduction goals and deliver greater benefits each year. These benefits can only grow as more businesses, public sector institutions, households, and others adopt the practices promoted by the climate protection partnerships. All of these benefits are the result of voluntary actions by individuals, businesses and industry.

These reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are increasingly important to tackle climate change challenges. The global average temperature for every decade since the Industrial Revolution has been hotter than the previous decade, and the 12 hottest years on record have all occurred within the past 15 years. Scientists have observed changes in precipitation, rising sea level, melting ice and altered weather patterns, including more frequent and intense storms.

The report further outlines the environmental accomplishments of these programs. To read the full report: http://www.energystar.gov/about/sites/default/uploads/files/2012_AnnualReport_Final.pdf [energystar.gov]. To learn more about climate change: www.epa.gov/climatechange/ [epa.gov]

exclude /. sections? (0)

dwater (72834) | about 3 months ago | (#46139255)

Just curious...is there a way to exclude/ignore particular sections in /.?

Re: exclude /. sections? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139275)

Yes.

Re:exclude /. sections? (1)

Farmer Tim (530755) | about 3 months ago | (#46139291)

It depends: you can turn off the Apple section in your user settings, unfortunately there isn’t a “Wild Speculation” section you can turn off.

Re:exclude /. sections? (1)

dwater (72834) | about 3 months ago | (#46139601)

Thanks! I had trouble finding that...seemed I had an empty list to select from...but a 'reset' populated the list and I will see if that does the trick :D

I'm not sure they need both.... (1)

dohzer (867770) | about 3 months ago | (#46139279)

The elderly are in the sun a lot (gardening, etc), but I don't see the kinetic charging being useful for old people. Do Apple really understand the demographic they're marketing to? Inductive charging could go either way.

Re:I'm not sure they need both.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139447)

The elderly are in the sun a lot (gardening, etc), but I don't see the kinetic charging being useful for old people. Do Apple really understand the demographic they're marketing to?

I bet they do. If they can get a few edgy actors or some people in the media industry to wear them the hipsters with rich parents will need one. Cost and functionality comes second. The important thing is to get a few months out of it before old people start to use it.

Who cares anymore? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139325)

Apple does this, Apl does that. Wristwatch, mobile phone. Not exactly groundbreaking in saving the world. At best it's a well-working phone. Or if you're me, the worst phone you could ever imagine (battery life, robustness, size, speech quality, too many button presses until i can do what i want to achieve).

Combining existing technology into a package is not exactly ground-breaking.
Put your phone down and start to live.

Re: Who cares anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139407)

> Put your phone down and start to live.

And by 'live' you mean 'troll on Slashdot'.

Re:Who cares anymore? (1)

scdeimos (632778) | about 3 months ago | (#46139419)

Or if you're me, the worst phone you could ever imagine (battery life, robustness, size, speech quality, too many button presses until i can do what i want to achieve).

I see you've never owned a Motorola RAZR then.

Re:Who cares anymore? (1)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 3 months ago | (#46139771)

I have a MotoRAZR V3i and a V3r, I'm pretty sure you guys can't be referring to either of those as "worst phone ever" because frankly, they're the best phones ever.

As long as it leaves the Galaxy Gear in the dus (0)

alexjoi (3522869) | about 3 months ago | (#46139541)

As long as it leaves the Galaxy Gear in the dust... but then, Apple could make something like that by accident.

Inductive charging is old news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139609)

My toothbrush uses inductive charging.
Some waterproof cordless shavers, but they're arguably larger than a cell phone.

Wristwatches are anti-ergonomic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139647)

Maybe it looked like a good idea centuries ago, but this flat place of the wrist where the watch lies is not a good place to put something you need to look at. You need to extend every muscle of the forearm just to look at it. Unless you tie the wristwatch loosely to the wrist. I think the concept of wristwatch itself is flawed. I hope they will provide a way to rotate it 90 degrees so that the watch itself will be closer to the base of the thumb. Or something like Leela's Wristlojackimator.

Good move by Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46139707)

This is a good move by Apple. The downside to a smartwatch is a big one. We already have to deal with so many gadgets as we get up and move about the day, another can be more trouble than it's worth.
A smartwatch has one advantage over laptops and tablets as well as to a lesser extent a smartphone. Once we put it on our wrist, we can forget about it for the rest of the day. But that only makes its other hassle worse. We still have to remember to charge it. The batteries in ordinary digital wristwatches last months or even years. Given all it'll be doing, battery life is likely to be days at best. That's why self-charging (motion or solar) ir easy charging (inductive) will be appealing and could spell the difference between success and failure.
That still doesn't deal with an even bigger issue--will it do enough to be worth the cost and trouble? A lot of young adults I know have given up on wristwatches, as simple and cheap as they are. They use their cell phones instead. Most aren't likely to adopt a pricey smartphone if all it does is tell them the time or who is calling.
It is easy to see that medical and exercise data may help sell smartphones. Someone who's running doesn't want to stop to see their heart rate and someone who's really into exercise may want to see that data recorded moment by moment. But is that enough potential customers? Maybe not.
Making matters worse is that the iPhone remains like Hans Christian Andersen's story about "The Princess and the Pea." It's is a very temperamental device that doesn't like rain or being dropped. That negates its value for outdoor activities with that smartwatch. It's daily need for a recharge, only makes also recharging that smartwatch a more obvious hassle. A iPhone model that's a bit thicker but has the same several day battery life as that smartwatch would make life simpler. So would an induction recharging pad that works with both overnight.

prior art (1)

ihtoit (3393327) | about 3 months ago | (#46139747)

My brother has one of those Chinese phone watches that does everything - even has a camera, SIM and MicroSD in it, and it's about the same size as my Breitling Navitimer. Maybe a smidge thicker. He also has a Tag Heuer analogue watch that has motion charging built into it. I'm pretty sure I can combine the two and get a patent on the corners...

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