Can You Extend Battery Life in Your Wearable?

Extend battery life in your wearable with Wake-Up Radio from IEEE

Wearables have taken the accessory market by storm. Gone are the days of wearing a simple analog watch that only tells the time; at least not when you can get one that tracks your steps, monitors your heart rate, syncs with apps on your smart phone, and much more. But how long will your wearable last between battery charges? Devices that can extend battery life are becoming essential.

According to Lauren Goode (2016), “Battery life is, arguably, the biggest pain point in wearables right now.” Many activity tracker or smartwatch batteries last anywhere between five days and several months on a single charge, depending on how much they can do. James Park, Fitbit co-founder and CEO, agrees that battery life is a difficult issue to address, as most advancements rely on the processor makers (Goode, 2016).

While there has been little significant progress within batteries themselves, the connectivity that wearables use can also affect power consumption. For sending a small amount of data over a short range, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is ideal, but higher quantities of data are better suited for Bluetooth Classic or Wi-Fi (Gough, 2016). Sensors and trackers placed at farther distances (as opposed to a smartwatch that is often close to a smartphone) will need low power, low latency options to extend battery life and preserve efficient data transfer.

Wake-Up Radio being developed by IEEE 802.11ba standards task group is one such option that can be used in conjunction with a Wi-Fi radio. This device only activates the Wi-Fi radio when it receives a signal unique to that device; otherwise, it “sleeps” quietly while using minimal power. Using Wake-Up Radio can significantly extend battery life to years, which would make Internet of Things (IoT) devices like wearables more useful and worthwhile.

You can find out more about Wake-Up Radio and how to utilize this technology with IoT devices your organization develops in the IEEE Technology Report on Wake-Up Radio: An Application, Market, and Technology Impact Analysis of Low-Power/Low-Latency 802.11 Wireless LAN Interfaces, coming soon!


Goode, L. (2016, Jan 15). Don’t expect battery life miracles in wearables anytime soon. The Verge.

Gough, P. (2016, Aug 17). Provisioning reliable wireless connectivity for wearables. Electronic Design.

, , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Responses to Can You Extend Battery Life in Your Wearable?

  1. Haider August 28, 2017 at 9:18 am #

    I think we can reduced the resistance of the device. when we reduce the resistance and
    automatically the charging of the device is increase ……


  1. A Solution to Latency in IoT Devices - IEEE Innovation at Work - December 12, 2017

    […] said they’re excited about the future of wearable technology as part of everyday life. In order for the full power of these devices to be realized, however, it […]

  2. How the IoT is Changing Industries and Lives | IEEE Innovation at Work - April 23, 2019

    […] own pace via connected devices. The devices notify teachers when students need extra guidance. Wearable devices help teachers out, too, taking over tedious tasks like attendance […]

  3. Los wearables podrían funcionar con el sudor más rápido de lo que piensas – Diario PB - January 31, 2022

    […] con el sudor deben ser más potentes que la tecnología portátil tradicional. Tradicional El rendimiento de la batería puede durar unos días como máximo para dispositivos portátiles como relojes inteligentes. Sin embargo, a medida que […]

Leave a Reply