Garmin's new patent could change the future of fitness wearables

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Garmin is working on bringing new tech to its smartwatches: The company could add OLED displays to its future product -- and these could include the ability to be charged using solar energy too. 

The company has filed a patent that aims to include an OLED display with a solar charging panel below it, According to a report on the new site The patent does not confirm that the smartwatch will go into production and a near future release. The company will work on designs eventually and work on prototypes. While Garmin does diversify its existing line of smartwatches with the screen technology, this would be a first for the company to bring both of these technologies together.

AMOLED vs MIP models

Garmin is known to make premium watches for several user base. There are those who prefer a regular smartwatch that is capable of tracking their basic health vitals. A majority of the company’s users are those that spend a lot of time taking part in outdoor leisure activities. Like mountain climbing, trekking and endurance training as well.

For these users, the company adds GPS capabilities, custom maps highlighting best trekking routes and also all the necessary body health vitals tracker. For those who would be on such trips or activities for just a few hours, Garmin provides a series of smartwatches that any an AMOLED display. They do not miss out on any of Garmin’s services or features.

But for those that taking several days off for an outdoor trip, Garmin provides wearables that come with memory-in-pixels (MIP) displays. With a photovoltaic glass added to the top of the display, the battery of the smartwatch can charge while on the go. These can continue to work for days or weeks at a stretch. The downside is that its not a bright display and outdoor visibility is limited.

Premium fitness wearables and more

Recently, Garmin launched their Fenix and Epix series with similar features and functions in India at a premium price. While India still leads in selling budget smartwatches, it would be interesting to see the new technology develop and make its way to fitness wearables.

As the technology matures too, there may be innovations in the field which will eventually bring the same to budget fitness bands and smartwatches. Wouldn’t it be great to be on the move without worrying about topping it up without a charger.

Sachin George

A Malayali-Mumbaikar, Sachin found an interest in all things tech while working in the BPO industry, often spending hours in tech blogs. He is a hardcore foodie and loves going on long bike rides. Gaming and watching TV shows are also some of his other hobbies