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This New Smartwatch Runs on Body Heat

Regardless of your fitness level, let's face it, taking off your smartwatch or fitness tracker to charge it is a simple but annoying step. But a new smartwatch in development is expected to eliminate that interruption.

Thanks to Bay Area startup Matrix, you'll be able to use your own body heat to juice the Matrix PowerWatch. The watch uses thermoelectric technology, which converts heat into electricity, similar to what's in the Voyager spacecraft and the Mars rover, Matrix boasts.

Credit: Matrix

(Image credit: Matrix)

Possibly just as cool as the ability to run on body heat is that Matrix promises more accurate estimates of how many calories you burn throughout the day. It measures your changes in body heat, as it rises during workouts and falls when you're sitting on your couch watching a movie.

MORE: Best Fitness Trackers - Track Activity, Calories & Sleep

The PowerWatch doesn't have all of the capabilities you might expect from a smartwatch, like smart phone notifications, but it does track activity and sleep, with the help of the Matrix companion app for Android and iOS devices. Similar to Pebble watches, you'll also be able to use so-called micro-applications to do things like switch up watch faces and control music that you're playing from your phone.

The PowerWatch is currently up for backing on crowdfunding site Indiegogo, where backers pledging $119 can get a PowerWatch when they're released next summer. After watches for early backers run out, they'll cost $169.99.

As with many crowdfunded projects, problems like manufacturing holdups that can delay new products from getting into consumers' hands, but Matrix seems confident, since its engineering and manufacturing is directed by Larry Tsai, who helped Fitbit get its products into millions of consumers' hands.