The Matrix PowerWatch is like any other smartwatch that tracks your fitness including calories, sleep, and step tracking. It may not have all the features of an Apple Watch or a Fitbit Watch; so what is it that makes it unique?
Manufactured by Matrix Industries, the PowerWatch harnesses, and converts the wearer’s own body heat into electricity and keeps it running non-stop. The technology involved in its manufacture is called the thermoelectric generator technology.
What the company has demonstrated by making the PowerWatch is its ability to fine tune the thermoelectric technology by making it small and capable enough to be incorporated into a device as compact as a watch. This innovation may not have been possible five years ago but recent advancements in the microprocessor technology have made the PowerWatch a reality.
The technology used requires the watch to be warm on the side that is in touch with the skin, while the opposite side has to remain much cooler. The temperature difference between the opposite sides of the PowerWatch is the key to its success.
While the side touching the skin draws its heat from the wearer’s body, the display side of the watch is incorporated with heatsinks to keep it cool enough to do the job efficiently.
So, what happens when the watch is not being worn? It goes into a low power sleep mode and continues to display the correct date and time with the help of an in-built battery. When you put it back on, your body heat takes over the job of keeping the power going.
While it may not have all the features of an Apple Watch or the Fitbit, as mentioned earlier, the PowerWatch is far superior in fitness tracking because of its dependency on the wearer’s body heat. The thermoelectric technology makes the fitness tracking much more accurate when compared to other smartwatches. The main plus, however, is that it’s free of battery woes.
The PowerWatch has the capability to sync wirelessly to your phone, track your steps and sleep, and is water-resistant up to a depth of 50 meters. One can wear it in the pool, lake, or ocean without any hassles.
According to Akram Boukai, Matrix Industries co-founder and CEO, the company’s long-term plan is to incorporate the thermoelectric technology into healthcare, manufacturing, and shipping.
In healthcare, the technology can be employed in hearing aids, thereby, avoiding the need to regularly change the batteries. It can also benefit heart patients who wear pacemakers and need to change the batteries every five to ten years.
However, examples of how the technology can benefit the manufacturing and shipping industries were not explained by Boukai. The company will initially make PowerWatches for men only.
The PowerWatch for women, however, will be introduced in the future. The startup, founded in 2011, has raised $8.5 million from investors including Khosla Ventures, 3M Corporation, and Sand Hill Angels.