People use smartwatches to monitor their vital signs during their daily tasks. However, these devices only work when they are attached to human skin.
Users need to remove their smartwatches to charge them, especially while they sleep. This means that they will also not be able to measure their vital signs. Scientists believe that it is important to measure the quality of sleep because it contains key information about the patient’s state of health.
This issue inspired scientists to develop technology that will allow smartwatch users to continue using their wearable devices without removing them to charge them so they can monitor their vital signs 24/7. Daily science reported.
New technology allows smartwatches to charge themselves using the human body to keep tracking even when they are asleep
Smartwatches without battery
Assistant Professor Sunghoon Ivan Lee of the University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Information and Computer Sciences and director of the Advanced Human Health Analytics Laboratory said his team have realized that human skin is also a conductive material where energy Can be seamlessly transferred to charge watch or other portable device.
They believe that making smartwatches without batteries can motivate people to track their sleep because they never have to take their watch off to charge it, Lee said.
In the article entitled “ShaZam: portable devices without charging via intra-body energy transfer from everyday objects“published in the ACM proceedings on interactive mobile, portable and ubiquitous technologies, Lee and his team lay the technical foundation and present the feasibility of the new technology, hoping that this will open up many possibilities in the development of portable devices without batteries.
In addition, the researchers explained that the technology uses human tissue as a means of nourishment. Comparing it to the typical red and black wires connected to a battery, the technology has electrodes that connect to human skin serve as the red wire and the conventional black wire is drawn between two metal plates that are built into the wearable device and an everyday object instrument, which is virtually connected.
The team tested a prototype of the new technology with ten people in three different scenarios in which the arm or hand is connected to a power transmitter.
Their results showed that about 0.5 to 1 milliwatt of direct current was transferred to the wearable device using the skin. this amount of electricity is within limits set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
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Is it safe to wear it?
âYou may think that the amount of energy transmitted by our technology is roughly comparable to that transmitted through the human body when you stand on a body composition scale, thus posing minimal health risks. ” Manufacturing company technology quoted wearable computer engineer Jeremy Gummeson of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Lee added that the person will not feel anything when their skin comes in contact with the power transmitter, as it is well beyond the range of frequencies that human sensation could perceive.
At present, the prototype does not produce a lot of energy to continuously run a sophisticated wearable device like the smartwatches produced by Apple. But it could support ultra-low-power fitness trackers like the FitBit Flex and Xiaomi Mi-Bands.
They aim to improve their technology, especially on the rate of power transfer in their further studies to achieve their goal of making portable devices more energy efficient.
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