Home How to charge your smartwatch with your mobile

How to charge your smartwatch with your mobile

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) presented a new way to extend the battery life of fitness trackers and smartwatches, without stuffing a larger battery inside the device.

The method, named Braidio, uses Bluetooth and radio-frequency identification (RFID) to send power from a larger device, like a smartphone or laptop, to smaller wearables.

See Also: A heated jacket wins Topshop’s wearable competition

Offloading energy to larger devices may allow device manufacturers to make wearables smaller and lighter, according to UMass professor Deepak Ganesan.

“We take for granted the ability to offload storage and computation from our relatively limited personal computers to the resource-rich cloud,” said Ganesan. “In the same vein, it makes sense that devices should also be able to offload how much power they consume for communication to devices that have more energy.”

Increasing wearable battery life by 400x

In tests, the UMass team were able to deliver 400 times longer battery life to a small device, like a fitness tracker, when powered by a larger device. That is not indicative of real-life performance, said graduate student Pan Hu:

“To be clear, our results only cover the cost of communication or transmitting data. If a radio is transmitting from a camera that consumes hundreds of milliwatts, clearly the sensors may dominate total power consumption and reduce the benefits of optimizing the radio.”

Most smartphones and laptops are not battery efficient devices, but a fitness tracker requires less than one percent of a laptop’s power to be at full charge; for a smartphone, it requires less than 10 percent.

If Braidio sensors are ever embedded into smartphones and fitness trackers, we assume users will be able to choose when or if they want their wearable to siphon energy from a smartphone.
Outside of smartphones and laptops, Braidio could be integrated into smart clothing or power banks, which use less power and, in some cases, have a larger battery.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.