Gimme Juice: Wearables + Battery Life

Gimme Juice: Wearables + Battery Life

One of the biggest problems facing wearables today is battery life. Battery problems will continue to block widespread adoption–no one needs more chargers to juggle. For right now, the choices for wearable tech designers are to optimize battery usage or to sidestep the problem entirely. The company that manages to truly fix the problem is the one you’ll want to put your money on.

The wearable recharging problem is no secret. Earlier this year a Wall Street Journal article said:

I realize that every manufacturer must make trade-offs in the design of its gadgets. But when consumers are surveyed about what they would like most, battery life is consistently the No. 1 thing on their wish list.

TE Connectivity, a world leader in connectivity, released their findings in a survey done on wearables this year:

The survey asked respondents which wearable functionality would increase the likelihood of purchasing a wearable or smart device in the next year. Increased or longer battery life was the most important feature for 49 percent of survey respondents.

Clearly battery life for wearables has been in the news and on the minds of many, but who is going to fix this problem? Recently NASA has contributed to the solution by creating a wi-fi chip to increase wearable’s battery life. Microsoft is right behind them by announcing their solution to the problem–stream your wearable to a smartphone. Interestingly enough, a startup we featured last week says their wearable has a battery life of one year.

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Here are some estimates of the battery life of some of today’s other products (although we all know that we always get less battery life than the manufacturers promise.)

Apple Watch — 18 hours

Ringly — 1-2 days

Samsung Gear — 2-3 days

FitBit + Jawbone — both 7 days

June Bracelet – One month

Misfit Shine — Six months

Violet Swarovski Shine — forever, using energy harvesting crystals

As you can see from the estimates above, Violet Swarovski Shine is definitely one worth checking out. Forbes even took note of the methods this startup is using. We will definitely keep wearables + battery life on our radar and will be very interested to see the solution that finally gives wearables the juice they need.

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Third Wave Fashion has been your fashion tech think tank since 2011. We publish the first ever printed fashion tech magazine, Third Wave.  Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our newsletter to stay on top of the latest in fashion tech + wearables.