LunaR smartwatch promises endless sun-powered battery life [Sticky or Not]

Despite being moon-themed, the LunaR smartwatch is a solar-powered wearable.

Aiming to solve one of the most frustrating elements of wearables — the need to take it off and charge it on a frequent, even daily, basis — the team behind LunaR developed a hybrid mechanical smartwatch.

Owing to a partnership with a solar tech company, the company bills its device as the first to include an “invisible solar cell watch face.” LunaR says that with a daily exposure of one hour, or more than 10k LUX, the device’s solar panel can harvest enough power to deliver infinite battery life.

In case you reside mostly indoors in front of the glow of your laptop screen (same), LunaR says the smartwatch can still pick up charge from artificial or indoor light. You may want to move closer to a window, though. The company also includes a USB charger in its retail package — “just for emergencies!”

The watch, which connects via Bluetooth to an app on your smartphone, can track sleep and activities using its 3-axis accelerometer. It also features all the normal activity tracker functions, including phone notifications and alarms.

It works with iOS 10 and higher and Android 4.3 and higher, and is compatible with Apple Healthkit and Google Health.

The device also features waterproofing up to 5ATM (50 meters).

The gadget is currently up for pre-order through Kickstarter, starting at $158 CAD and promising a December 2017 delivery date.

Verdict: Sticky!

Infinite battery life? Sign me up.

I test quite a lot of wearables, and nothing would make me happier than not having to find a place to connect another fidgety little charger that’s apt to fall down or disconnect from the tracker at the slightest nudge.

If this tracker can truly provide the seamless continuous charge it promises, it’ll be the rare exception for wearables — offering sensible utility over entertaining gimmicks.

Comments

  • h2oflyer

    About time someone started using solar powered watch face technology for smart watches. It’s been over 10 years since Citizens Watch invented invisible face solar powered quartz watches.

    • Joseph

      Ya I own an eco-drive watch. Have for the last 7 years, so not sure what took them so long.

    • h2oflyer

      Same here… I got 3 and my wife has one with my oldest being a 2005 model.

      Citizen produced great innovative technology and did market it well, but most watch wearers were content to get their quartz watch battery replaced at the mall kiosk for $8 or so.

    • TonyC

      Picked up my eco-drive in 2002. One of the best watches I ever bought. Looks as good today as it did back then.

    • Goldfinch

      I bought a citizen watch for my wife. She stopped using it for a while then when she tried again it did not work. I bought a regular battery and replaced it but it did not work. luckily I did not recycle the original battery. I read the manual and had no idea about the eco-drive feature. I put the original battery back, left the watch one day close to window, and voila, back to normal. This was two years ago and it still working like a charm.

  • EndangeredTechman

    Smart watches are small enough the benefits of non organic LED displays would out weigh the cost. They can be used as Solar cells and will be more efficient to boot. Don’t understand why accelerometers aren’t use for energy harvesting. My father had a mechanical watch that used motion harvesting to wind the spring back in the day.

    • h2oflyer

      Winding a spring won’t work with kinetic motion rotating an eccentric weighted rotor today. Seiko developed their Kinetic line of watches over a quarter century ago.

      The Kinetic watch rotates the same kind of eccentric rotor but instead of winding a spring it spins a generator through a 100 – 1 gear ratio to charge a lith-ion battery.

      The gear train with a top end of 100,000 rpm has worked surprisingly good over the years. This would add an extra thickness layer to a smart watch, but is another option.

    • EndangeredTechman

      I realize that, just pointing out that people did alot with little back in the day. Using these concepts with advances could be huge in mobile devices of today.