Samsung may have a potentially game-changing technology for smartwatches in development. The company could introduce a solar watch band that will ensure that your tiny wrist-worn devices will never run out of battery. Well, it isn’t an entirely new tech as the likes of Garmin and Casio have already shown that it’s possible. However, if Samsung jumps on the bandwagon as well, it could pave way for more big names to follow suit and solve one of the biggest issues with smartwatches, i.e. poor battery life.
The relatively small size of smartwatches means there’s only so much room inside them for a bigger battery. But with each newer generation, these devices are picking up new functionalities. This takes a toll on the device’s battery endurance.
To that end, Samsung is exploring the possibility of placing solar batteries inside the watch strap. The company filed a patent for an “electronic device comprising solar cells of multiple types” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) back in July 2019. It provided additional documentation in January this year. USPTO published the 22-page patent earlier this month.
Samsung could be working on a solar-powered Galaxy Watch
Per the patent documentation, Samsung is looking to add two solar batteries in the watch strap, one each on either side of the watch body. It will use a polymer with quantum dots to change the light path, while various solar cells will perform the photoelectric conversion. This will allow the batteries to collect sufficient solar energy regardless of how the device is worn.
Samsung could also use different types of solar cells with different wavelength bands to achieve high efficiency. All this will ensure that a few hours of exposure to low sunlight will be enough to charge the batteries. No more unpleasant surprises that your smartwatch is running low in battery just when you’re about to head out.
Now, it’s pertinent to mention here that there’s no confirmation of Samsung already pursuing this device. A patent application is never a confirmation that such a device is in the works. But the fact that the company provided additional documentation for the patent earlier this year suggests work is underway. Moreover, as LetsGoDigital notes, the documentation is too detailed not to be a real product. We could indeed see this solution with one of Samsung’s upcoming generation Galaxy Watch products.
Samsung launched the Galaxy Watch 4 series last month. Time will tell whether the Galaxy Watch 5 series will use this solar-powered battery technology.