The Apple Watch is still a week and a half from actually reaching consumers, but a third-party company already has a solution to extend its one-day battery life: a silicone and plastic cuff that attaches to the smartwatch.
Indeed, the wiPowerBand is designed to snap to the back of the Apple Watch and along the inside of the band, essentially creating a rubberized shell for your brand new, expensive wearable device. Of course, it’s not a fashion accessory, but rather a battery pack that’s charged with a Lightning cable.
When attached, the wiPowerBand adds another 200mAh battery charge to the equation. Apple hasn’t actually revealed the size of the battery in either sized Apple Watch model, but according to the press release, the peripheral should “nearly double the battery life of the Apple Watch.” It hails from Dr. Thomas Giannulli, a physician and self-described serial entrepreneur.
Of course, as is quite apparent, the trade-off for additional battery life is sullying the chic, stylish look of the Apple Watch, plus adding a potentially stiff element between the watch itself and your wrist could make the whole thing less comfortable to wear. It also adds a small bit of extra weight at 20g; the Apple Watch weighs anywhere from 56g to 125g depending on model and strap choice.
At the very least, it’s an innovative idea, although we’ll have to get one on our own wrists to really know whether the battery boost is possibly worth the trade-offs. The wiPowerBand for 38mm Apple Watch models sells for US$89 (about £60), while the larger 42mm version sells for US$99 (~£67), with both expected to release in May or June.