Samsung working on solar charging for a future Galaxy Watch (patent)

Samsung working on solar charging for a future Galaxy Watch (patent)
Smartwatch battery life has been an issue for a long time as most premium smartwatches such as the Galaxy Watches or Apple Watches have around one-day battery life or a bit more. Now, a patent from Samsung discovered by LetsGoDigital reveals the South Korea-based tech giant is looking to remedy this issue with a solar charging band on a Galaxy Watch.

A newly-granted patent reveals a band that will charge from solar light for longer battery life on a future Galaxy Watch

The battery problem is more prominent in smartwatches than in smartphones because of their smaller sizes, and the feature-packed watches usually last around a day. Companies have been looking to remedy this issue by introducing more power-efficient processing chips or faster charging.

However, another solution is also present and it is solar charging. Already found in some smartwatch models, notably Garmin's Instinct Solar, the possibility to charge the battery from light ensures a crazy-long battery life. The Instinct Solar can go with solar charging for up to 56 days while in use, and theoretically, should have unlimited battery life on standby.

Samsung has also been working on a similar solution for a future Galaxy Watch. The newly-granted patent the company submitted back in 2019 details how the technology should work on a Galaxy Watch.

The patent involves a polymer with quantum dots; these quantum dots are used for Samsung's QLED TVs and even some new laptops. They capture light that then gest passed to solar cells which convert it into electrical energy. According to the patent, the structures should be located on both sides of the smartwatch's band so either one or both will receive light, regardless of the way the watch is worn.

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The patent was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, and is named 'Electronic device comprising solar cells of multiple types', back in 2019. Then, in January of this year, the company submitted additional documentation to the patent and it was published this month.

LetsGoDigital created images based on the patent that represent the solar band:

In the image above, the placement of the solar battery is indicated with a honeycomb structure; however, in reality, it won't be visible, hidden in the smartwatch band. The technology of the different types of solar cells used, described in the patent, offers relatively high efficiency, meaning only a few hours of sunlight or fluorescent light would be needed so the watch is charged.

As we mentioned earlier, the quantum dots technology used in the patent is not new to the company and is present in Samsung's QLED TV lineup. The quantum dots are a layer of nano-crystals that color under the influence of light and thus give a high color range. This way, the TVs produce better image quality than your regular LED TVs. The tech is also present in some of the gaming monitors the company makes.

Given the fact that the patent was submitted back in 2019, it seems Samsung has had some time to work on this solution and refine it, something that is proven by the addition of new documentation to the patent application in the beginning of this year.

Of course, as many of you may probably now, a granted patent does not always mean the technology will be present in an upcoming device (such as, for example, the Galaxy Watch 5 which should technically come next year), or if it will be present at all. It simply means the company is working on such a solution and if it succeeds in implementing it, it should come in a future device. Apple is also constantly filing patent applications for various technologies and not all of them see the light of production.

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