Notifications and fitness tracking, powered by body heat
In 2016, a company called Matrix made a bold claim: their upcoming PowerWatch would never need charging, working as it did by the heat generated by the skin it was pressed against. That claim turned out to be entirely true, though as Wareable found out, that was at least in part because it didn’t do very much at all: just step counting and telling the time, really. In other words, it worked, but you may as well get a traditional watch for most of the same benefits in a more attractive package.
Matrix is looking to put that right for its second edition, the Matrix PowerWatch X, currently on display at CES in Las Vegas. The new wearable, the company claims, will be powered by the same proprietary thermoelectric energy converter as its predecessor, but it will make said energy work harder, offering phone notifications over Bluetooth, making it a fully fledged smartwatch.
It still looks pretty chunky and mechanical – even by smartwatch standards – but then so was the original Pebble, and that required charging once every 5-7 days, but maintained a solid following until it ran out of money. Never having to remember a proprietary charger wherever you go is a powerful incentive to put any with any number of design sins, and If you’re tempted, the PowerWatch X will be launching this month