Founded in 1860 by Edouard Heuer in Switzerland, TAG Heuer started out as Uhrenmanfaktur Heuer AG. The company designs and manufactures chronographs, watches, fashion accessories, eyewear and even mobile phones. The original company, Uhrenmanfaktur Heuer, was sold in 1985 to TAG Group Holdings S.A. and the marketed items became known as TAG Heuer pieces. Sold again in 1999 to Louis Vuitton, the brand name is a combination of the founder’s surname and the abbreviation for Techniques d’Avant Garde. The company is famous not only for its line of premium watches but also for its exceptional sunglasses. Now, TAG Heuer has announced the release of the first perpetual light-powered premium smartphone.
The new smartphone will utilize photovoltaic cells. The photovoltaic cells will be invisibly built into a sapphire crystal screen which will allow the device to create enough electricity through natural or artificial light sources to charge the phone’s battery. This will mark the first time that a mobile phone will be able to recharge itself through light energy. While the technological breakthrough will be embedded in a new class of smartphones, an initial offering of only 1,911 pieces will be released. The quantity is a nod toward the company’s premiere aircraft and automobile dashboards which were originally patented in 1911.
The TAG Heuer smartphone, sporting the perpetual power cells, will be made entirely out of titanium, carbon and rubber. The titanium used in the phone is Grade 5, which consists of six percent aluminum, four percent vanadium, one-quarter percent iron, two-tenths percent oxygen and the remaining allowance pure titanium. This grade of titanium is used for many applications in the titanium industry because it is significantly stronger than pure titanium and is heat treatable. It is the most commonly used alloy and is used in marine and aerospace industries as well as being used for engine and power generation components.
The titanium perpetual power phone will be available in July. The device will only be released through select dealers and jewelers. While the official phone price has not yet been released, the projected cost of the phone will most likely be in the vicinity of $5,000. Additionally, while it is known that the device will feature the sapphire crystal screen embedded with photovoltaic power cells and that the phone will be manufactured out of titanium, carbon and rubber, many of the other hardware details have not been announced. The company claims that the sapphire crystal screen can only be scratched by a diamond.
The phone’s display will host a pixel resolution of 240×320 and be 2.4 inches. There will be 8GB of internal storage as well as a 5MP camera. While there is no indication of any possible color choice yet, the new premium phone is named the Meridiist Infinite. The company currently markets a phone known as the Meridiist which sports dual SIM slots and a unique worldwide concierge service.
The premium phone will most likely carry a premium price tag when it is released. The Meridiist Infinite smartphone, with its perpetual power source manufactured by TAG Heuer, is scheduled to be on the market in July. While the company has long been known for chronographs and wristwatches, the relatively new venture into the cell phone industry seems to be showcasing the company slogan “Swiss Avant-Garde Since 1860.”
By Dee Mueller
on twitter @TuesdayDG