Apple reportedly testing wireless charging, other methods of juicing up its smartwatch

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| February 2, 2014

iPhone 5 rear

The wearable technology market has been growing pretty quickly in the past year or so, and while a lot of focus is placed on the design and feature sets of these devices, battery life is perhaps one of the hottest topics. After all, consumers are used to watches with batteries that last years at a time, and so it's important for smartwatch hardware to not only have reasonable battery life, but also be easy to charge back up once that battery runs out of juice. That's why it's no surprise to learn that, as part of its smartwatch efforts, Apple is reportedly looking into developing new ways to keep its upcoming wearable topped off with juice.

A new report from The New York Times claims that Apple has been testing a way to charge its rumored smartwatch wirelessly using inductive technology, similar to the way in which devices like the Lumia 920 can be recharged by simply being placed on a charging plate that juices the phone up using a magnetic field. The Cupertino firm has reportedly also looked into methods of charging its watch using movement as well as a solar-charging layer included with the device's display. However, it's said that tech like the solar-charging layer is likely years away from being ready for primetime.

Apple has yet to officially introduce a device with wireless charging support, but a smartwatch seems like it'd be an ideal place for the company to start using the tech. Many consumers already have multiple devices that they plug in at night, such as a smartphone and tablet, and so a smartwatch would likely be much more attractive if it could be juiced up by simply being dropped onto a nightstand or dresser just like a regular watch.

The Apple iWatch is still very much a rumor at this point, as the Cupertino firm hasn't made any official announcements regarding any upcoming wearable devices. However, it's been said that Apple is prepping a watch with a curved glass display. Considering the recent rise in the popularity of wearables like the Pebble smartwatch, it makes sense that Apple would be looking into the market to determine if it's worth entering and if it is, how best to go about doing so. There's no word yet on exactly when Apple might actually unleash its iWatch onto the public, but with rumors of curved glass and inductive charging, it'll be interesting to see what kind of tech ends up making the cut in the final product.

Are you interested in wearable technology? If so, which features — for example, battery life, notifications support or design — are most important to you?

Via The New York Times