09 Dec The Next Frontier For Wearables: Bendable Batteries, Healthy Tattoos And More
When mass-appeal wearable devices arrived on the scene in 2009 in the form of Fitbit, skeptics wondered whether consumers would feel the need to track their steps and calories. But as technology has gotten more sophisticated and devices more sleek and intuitive, the industry has grown exponentially.
As the worldwide wearables market is expected to swell to more than 126 million units shipped in 2019 (up from 19.6 million units in 2014), its applications have moved far beyond fitness trackers. Let’s take a look at three groundbreaking innovations that are poised to revolutionize the wearable tech sector even further.
For wearable tech to become as ubiquitous as smartphones and tablets, batteries need to be smaller and longer lasting, while also being thinner and more flexible. Samsung SDI and LG Chem have made headway recently, as demonstrated at the recent InterBattery 2015 exhibition in Seoul.
Samsung debuted two new batteries. The ultra-slim .3 mm Stripe is a flexible battery that Samsung claims has higher energy density compared to other batteries on the market, thanks to its minimized battery sealing width. Because of the Stripe’s thinness and flexibility, there’s a big opportunity here for wearables to move into more devices, like necklaces and clothing.
Meanwhile, the Band is meant to attach to smartwatch straps to add 50 percent more battery power to the original device. Contorting the battery more than 50,000 times in testing its durability, Samsung’s focus on form as well as function could be a game changer when these enter the consumer market around 2017.
LG Chem also unveiled a new flexible smartwatch battery that it began developing in 2012. Setting this one apart is its ability to fold into a tight radius of 15 mm, or half the size of current batteries on the market. The wire battery will allow for smartwatches to be much more flexible in future designs.