A tiny three-phase motor invented by Swiss researchers could be used to power a new generation of wristwatches, allowing them to work as mobile phones, app devices and GPS units. Those activities generally require plenty of power, which can be cumbersome and costly — but a new microelectromechanical system will keep them juiced.
Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute in Lausanne came up with a small electromagnetic three-phase motor that yields three times the energy output of a traditional motor.
If you measure a Kickstarter project’s worth by how much money it raises from backers, Chicago-based designer Scott Wilson’s TikTok and LunaTik wristbands easily qualify as a success story. But if you measure it by who comes sniffing around afterward wanting to sell your product, these wristbands--which turn an iPod Nano into a wristwatch--have scored something of a coup.
This prototype shows detailed graphics and text, not just blocky numbers. It’s the first watch to use a high-resolution version of an E Ink display—its 300 dots per inch far outstrip conventional LCD watches and even most e-readers. Yet its low-power screen and chip let its battery last about two years.
Seiko Active Matrix EPD Prototype, Price not set (available fall); seikowatches.com
The goal of a watchphone is right in its name: make a phone small enough to wear. If success is rated on a scale of zero to Dick Tracy, aim to hit as close to the famed Two-Way Wrist Radio as humanly possible. And when we first saw the LG GD910 in January, we thought the mark had finally been hit (bring on the yellow trench coat!). And LG, of course, was not the only game in town; throughout the year, competitors unveiled their own wrist-bound beauties, and it seemed like the gadget-lover's fantasy was about to go mainstream. We put two current watchphones to the test to find out.
Almost every day, we see so-called "upgrades" to technologies that really don't need the extra attention. Plenty of everyday gadgets haven't changed much since they were introduced or invented, because, well, they work just fine the way they are. And trying to improve on something that's already at the top of the food chain is a) a waste of time and b) likely to just make it worse for the wear. Companies need to face facts: there are technologies (like these five) that are practically perfect just as they are.
The flexible, durable, wearable screen could soon be standard issue
By Arnie CooperPosted 06.16.2009 at 12:09 pm 28 Comments
A special-ops soldier carries a slew of gadgets into battle. There's the GPS unit to pinpoint his squad's location, and a laptop for pulling up blueprints of terrorist compounds or infrared readings of buildings scoped out by robotic surveillance drones. With a radio and its five-pound battery, it's too much gear. But in a couple years, troops could lighten their load with a rugged, flexible, wrist-mounted display that's in development by the U.S. Army and HP Labs.