The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
World's First Solar-Powered Smartwatch Harvests Both Natural and Artificial Light
A big problem with smartwatches is that, compared to traditional watches, the internal battery can easily run out of juice.
But a San Francisco-based startup has taken a major step in solving this problem by creating the LunaR, which claims to be the world's first solar-powered smartwatch.
"We love watches, we LOVE technology AND we hated the fact that we're always stressed out about recharging our devices," the company touts on their Kickstarter crowdfunding page. "We felt those elements hadn't been tackled and we wanted to expressed a harmonious connection between the beauty and simplicity of an elegant timepiece with the 'smarts' of a smartwatch."
Casio and Citizen already make solar-powered wristwatches, but the LunaR appears to be the first smartwatch that can run off of the sun's rays.
A transparent solar panel made by France-based Sunpartner covers the watch face. Inside the watch is a 110-mAh lithium-polymer battery that can supposedly run with as little as one hour of artificial or natural light.
"With a full charge, the battery will last up to at least 3 months, depending on the amount of notifications you're receiving. If you're able to collect passive sun while outside each day for like 1 hour (with a exposure greater than 10K LUX), then you (almost) never have to charge your watch again," the company said.
The watch works with a companion smartphone app to offer features such as sleep and activity tracking, integration with social media and messaging apps, and can auto-update the time wherever you are using the phone's GPS. Notifications are displayed on the embedded LED or through vibration technology. It's also waterproof up to 164 feet and comes with a traditional USB charger for backup.
LunaR's successful crowdfunding campaign has already racked up more than 500 backers to date. Models start at an early-bird price of $138 on the site.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Emily Deanne
Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.
By Lorraine Chow
Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.
States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.
Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.
By Kristin Ohlson
From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.
Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.
By Hans Nicholas Jong
Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.
It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."