For myself, I’m still trying to find a space where a smartwatch makes sense on my wrist. I’ve tested a number, and use one that is fitness-oriented to track my sleep and my morning jog. After that, it’s put into low power mode on the dresser until I get ready for bed. Why? Well, for one, battery life is a major downside to using a smartwatch all day long. That is, unless you leverage solar power, which the Sequent SolarCharger smartwatch is doing.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Sequent SolarCharger smartwatch is the fact that it’s a traditional (analog) display of the time, and not a fancy LCD or even e-ink. So, if you’re looking for notifications you can read on your wrist, this isn’t the one for you. Realistically, this one is a solar-powered activity tracker hiding out on your wrist looking all the world like a regular watch.
Flipping it over, though, that’s where you see those ubiquitous sensors, keeping an eye on your heart rate, as well as tracking your activity (aka steps) and sleep as you wear it. Basically, what you’d want from a standard wearable fitness tracker. Here, really, it’s the form factor (and the solar) that make it stand out.
So, where are the solar panels? Right under the sapphire dial. That’s right – the indices on the dial (which are luminous) are painted onto sapphire, under which you have the solar panel. This is a fairly large swatch of light capture, especially considering the watch doesn’t have to maintain a constant connection to your phone. Depending on how you use it, and how much sunlight you’re in, you’ve got a watch that will basically run without limit, all while still syncing sensor data to your phone (and updating the time on the watch if you travel somewhere).
For this project, the Sequent SolarCharger smartwatch is coming in two flavors – one with a case made of #tide Ocean plastic (early bird pricing starts at $278) or one made of steel (early bird comes in at $398). The real proof will be in how good the associated app is, and how good the solar efficiency is. Still, it’s promising tech. The campaign is fully funded, and runs through July 22, 2022. Check it out over at the project page / sequent.ch