What?!!! A watch powered by you? This is crazy man… Well! I guess not! An awesome team from California has build a watch that charge by heat transmission. They call it the Matrix PowerWatch. What is the Matrix PowerWatch? Let’s call it something refreshing into this world! This watch is already well acclaimed. At the latest Customer Electronics show (CES 2018 in January) it won the Best Wearable award. Let’s take a first look at this watch!
How does it Work?
Good question. Your body produce heat that we call energy. The watch uses a thermoelectric generator that senses body heat and convert it to energy! The TEG will absorb the heat flowing and transfer it to electricity. That powers the Matrix PowerWatch. Depending on of the temperature recorded by the watch, the charge will be slower or quicker. The wearable doesn’t charge if the temperature rise higher than 90 Fahrenheit. The wearable company has created a table/chart that shows the charging time depending on the ambient temperature.
From Matrix Industries website.
If the battery can’t be charged, no worries. It still gonna work for 1 year and it will keep your fitness info and time for that period too.
To know more about their thermoelectric technology, click here.
Real Time Display
This feature shows how much heat/energy is absorbed from your body. It is represented by bars around the watch face. It can up to 11-12 if you perform an intense exercise/workout.
The main features of this wearable are pretty basic but are backed up by Matrix’s technology. You will get the steps count, calories burned and sleep displayed on the watch. Calories burned are accurately calculated using their thermoelectric technology and data. A difference from most of the fitness watches/tracker in the market that based their calorie data using step counting (and other external factors).
You also have the stopwatch feature. Not a big fan… But the Running mode is interesting since I am a runner. I wish I had a PowerWatch in hands to test and measure his accuracy versus a built-in GPS watch.
The menu are controlled by the two buttons (Mode and Set) and the scrolling knob of the PowerWatch.
Here’s the complete list of features that you will find on the PowerWatch
– Activity Tracking
– Running mode
– Sleep Tracking Mode
– Real Time Energy Harvesting
– Sync Data (with a smartphone)
– Time and Date
The power consumption is probably why the company doesn’t include more fitness features but let’s cross our fingers for improvements in the near future. Also, integrating sensors like an accelerometer or built-in GPS will suck up much more power than now. Only the future will tell us if they will incorporate more fitness features into their watches.
There’s three models up to now: The PowerWatch, The PowerWatch Black Ops (Pack) and the PowerWatch X. Each models looks rugged and stylish.
The PowerWatch X is the latest watch released by the wearable company. It is a bigger and looks more rugged than the original PowerWatch. The diameter increased to 50 mm and the watch is 10 grams heavier. You can now use the watch in 200 meters of water depth, the original model can take it up to 50 meters (that was pretty impressive already!). This makes it one of the best for waterproof watches in the wearable market! It is also able to receive phone notifications.
All models have the same processor (ARM Cortex-M4F) and uses a highly integrated micro controller (Ambiq Apollo). Combining both parts together allows to process each task with a very low battery life consumption.
The third model named PowerWatch Black Ops Pack is completely black with a Milanese strap instead of the default nylon strap. Internally, the Black Ops model and the original one are the same.
The prices are not the same though:
$199 for the original PowerWatch
$239 for the Black Ops edition
$279 for the latest PowerWatch X.
For the complete specification list, please click here.
Useful App But Can Be Better
Like the watch, the app is pretty basic in terms of features. It only gives is the same information as the watch does.
On both platforms (iOS and Android), the reviews and comments are pretty average. Let’s hope the company will provide a new update fixing all these known bugs (sync and update issues).
Comments from Android’s users (PlayStore)
The app first show you how to configure your watch and will sync to your phone. You can choose between 9 display languages (pretty impressive). The fitness data recorded by the watch (up to 1 week) is well shown on the app but it seems to be missing ”more in depth ” info that any fitness athletes love to have. By example, a food tracker or the ability to add and connect automatically to different social communities like Strava or Endomundo.
You can at least set your activity goals (steps, calories and distance) and change your general parameters (language, password, units, etc…). The ability to change watch faces (that are popular with many other wearables) are still not available for the PowerWatch.
In other words, the app lacks functionalities and seems to undergo different sync connectivity issues. Be aware until a major update is announced by Matrix Industries.
Is It Worth Buying?
If it was just for me, I would buy it hands down! When your been using wearables for quite some time, always reminding yourself to charge your watch is a pain in the butt. With the PowerWatch, you are eliminating that major problem that most of the smartwatches and fitness trackers have in the present. But to call it a revolutionary product you will need more in my opinion.
If they can include more fitness features into the watch and update (big time!) their PowerWatch app, it will be a true competition to the rest of the wearables in the market. But keep in mind that this California based company has launched his first model only last year (November 2017). So, there’s probably more to come up!
If you are a person that loves to check/evaluate his fitness data or going social with his smartphone, I suggest you take another route (for now at least). This watch is promise to a bright future. Let’s hope they will be able to juggle with sensors integration and a tweak of their Android and iOS platform. We will keep you up to date!
If you guys are looking to purchase and try this wearable, it is available in the Matrix Industries’s webstore or on Amazon.
What do you think if this wearable?
Is it something that you are looking for? Do you think that this watch will be a game changer in the wearable industry?
If you have any comments, please write them below.