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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Seiko to Sell Wristwatch Powered by Body Temperature
  • November 30, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Seiko Corp. and Seiko Instruments Inc. developed a wristwatch driven by a generator powered by body temperature and priced at about 300,000 yen (US$2,470).
    The generator is a "Seebeck element" device. Its heat source is the temperature difference between a person's arm and the ambient air. The watch will be marketed from Dec. 15.

    The Seebeck element is made of BiTe, and it has a thermoelectromotive force of 0.2 mV/deg C, company officials said. Its shape is a column of 80 x 80 x 600 micron. The two companies fabricated a module by sandwiching 100 elements between silicon substrates and connected 10 modules in a series.

    The output voltage is 0.15 V and a Ti-Li-ion secondary battery with a power of 4.5 mAH is charged through a transformer.

    When the watch is removed from a person's arm and is not powered, its second hand indicates the remaining battery power, while the minute and hour hands continue working.

    If the watch is not worn for three days, the minute and hour hands stop. However, the watch's internal circuits continue operating and the watch starts immediately when it is worn again. The hands are automatically set at the correct time.

    (Nikkei Mechanical)

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    Updated: Sat Nov 28 00:07:08 1998 PDT