This Smart Watch Will Charge Itself Using Heat From Your Skin

I actually like tracking my steps, but I’m not wearing my Fitbit right now because I’ve forgotten to charge it too many times over the past couple of months, blowing my step average and my motivation to quantify my self.

Matrix Industries, based in Menlo Park, Calif., is coming out of stealth mode today to say that it can fix that. Company founders Akram Boukai, CEO, and Douglas Tham, chief technology officer, think that thermoelectric technology is ready to power wearables now, and soon will make sense for implantables and low-power sensors on the Internet of Things. Thermoelectric devices harvest energy using a temperature difference between their two sides to generate a voltage.

Matrix launched what it calls a thermoelectric-powered smart watch—and I call a fitness tracker—on Indiegogo today. The US $100 gadget—which has a step counter, calories-expended counter, a sleep monitor, and yes, a watch that tells time—is a little too clunky for me, and will likely only appeal to the “gotta have the cool gadget” early adopter who can show off the self-powering feature to his friends.

But that’s probably okay. Because, while I’m sure Matrix would love to sell a bunch of these gadgets,…[Read more]