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No-charge GNSS smartwatch

u-blox, TransSiP and MATRIX Industries have unveiled PowerWatch 2, the world’s first GPS smartwatch that wont need to be recharged.

The smartwatch features the ultra-small, ultra-low power u‑blox ZOE-M8B GNSS receiver to track position, in addition to calories burned, activity level, and sleep, making it an ideal companion for runners, hikers, and swimmers. All this is enabled by TransSiP PI technology which ensures energy harvested is used at maximum efficiency and provides crystal clean power enabling optimum performance.

The PowerWatch 2 is, according to u-blox, the first GPS smartwatch to offer a 100 per cent charge-free experience.

It does away with cables and external batteries by continually topping up its battery using thermoelectric energy generated from body heat as well as solar energy. The watch also excels at the other things smartwatches do, adds u-blox, connecting to your smartphone and displaying notifications on your wrist, and tracking activities and visualising them using dedicated iOS and Android apps, as well as with popular third party health and fitness platforms.

The PowerWatch 2 delivers location tracking using the low-power u‑blox ZOE-M8B GNSS receiver module that consumes as low as 12 mW. Packaged as a (System-in-Package), the 4.5 x 4.5 x1.0 mm module helps achieve the watch’s comparatively low 16-millimetre thickness. And concurrent reception of up to three GNSS constellations means that it delivers high accuracy positioning in challenging situations such as urban or dense forest environments and when swimming.

Satellite based positioning is typically the most power-hungry process on a sports watch. Providing highly efficient conversion of harvested energy into a very quiet supply of DC power, TransSiP PI enhances the ability of the ZOE-M8B GNSS receiver module incorporating u-blox Super-E technology, to strike a balance between power and performance. Working on a tight power budget, the watch supports 30 minutes of continuous GNSS tracking per day, with unused time accumulating in the watch’s battery pack, for example powering two hours of location tracking every four days.

Author
Bethan Grylls

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