WattUp, a transmitter-receiver technology can charge devices from a distance
Today smartphones are slowly catching up with wireless-charging technology where phones are kept on a piece of an inductive pad, and the device starts charging. In case your phone supports “wireless charging”, and you forget the charger at home, these inductive charging pads can be your saviour. However, smartphone users have always wished for phones and other smart devices to have longer battery life than what technology provides right now. While the wait for such batteries seems to be distant, a company at CES has made it easier for you to charge your devices wirelessly indeed.
Energous — a company in the US that deals with building at-contact and over-the-air wireless charging solutions — has launched WattUp, a transmitter-receiver technology for distance charging. Yes! Soon you can live in a world where the batteries on your devices quietly charge all on their own. Your Bluetooth headset, smartwatch on your wrist and your phone in your pocket charging on the go!
“This technology will be in a smartphone," said Steve Rizzone, the CEO of Energous to CNET. He refused to disclose the smartphone manufacturer that will use this technology due to terms in the company’s contract. Until 2018, the concept of charging over-the-air was just a concept that Energous had introduced. This year the company is already in works with a smartphone manufacturer and is making products that are yet to receive or already have got FCC approval.
Traditional wireless chargers use inductive pads where smartphones are placed on the pad and require a large surface area as the magnetic pad needs a power supply too. Headphones and smartwatches do not lie flat. How the technology works are Energous has mocked up “prototypes for a smartwatch with flexible antennas woven into the band”, a wireless car remote and a pair of headphones. These devices relatively use less power and are not flat. With some progress, soon this technology will be available to charge smartphones and even laptops over-the-air. Over-the-air wireless charging can deliver small amounts of power at a distance from inches to 3 feet. Devices with smaller batteries can charge within 30 minutes to an hour. All of this can be done by a 3mm by 3mm silicon chip that can be placed on the dome of a car or bezel of a TV
Energous is also working on a technology to charge larger battery capacity devices which can be charged at a further distance of 15-feet. The company expects that by 2020, this part of technology will be ready. "This has the potential to be as ubiquitous as Wi-Fi," Rizzone said. "The consumer is looking for a way to eliminate the cords, the constant need to find a wall outlet and charge”, the CEO added.