A new project funded by the European Union is hoping to usher in a new wearable charging standard, meaning docking smartwatches and fitness trackers could soon be a thing of the past.
Smart2Go is part of the EU’s Horizon 2020 project, a research and innovation initiative, and will now have 36 months to help create what it sees as an ‘autonomous energy-supply platform’ that could help power everything from everyday wearables to medical-grade trackers.
According to the company, pairing a powerful battery with energy harvesting technologies will help drive the project, though little else is currently known about how the team working behind the scenes will achieve this. A couple of potential harvesting techniques could be, for example, converting body heat into power, or the wearer’s kinetics.
However, in order to apply to the broad spectrum of wearables, the project intends to develop a modular platform; one that future manufacturers will be able to work from and tailor to specific devices.
And though details are fairly light at the moment – which is to be expected, given that work only officially launched in January – we expect to hear a little bit more when Fraunhofer FEP (the German electronics firm behind the project) gives a presentation at the Wearable Europe Show in April.
Could we see the fruits of the project hit mainstream wearables any time soon? Well, at this stage, it’s too early to speculate. However, even if the research doesn’t directly lead to a new commercial charging standard, it’s likely the work being done will help progress the space in some capacity.
And, to think, the UK sits just mere hours away from exiting the EU. Forget the Irish backstop, it’s time to get back to the negotiating table and force its way into the Smart2Go project as well, isn’t it?
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