Wireless charging has been around for a bit of time, thanks to pads that owners can set a device on. While the device may not be plugged directly into a wire, that base sure is, and owners are just as limited in movement (if not more so) because they have to set the device down on a compatible pad.True wireless charging, where one can simply walk through a home and have their device charged without wires or pads, is still trying to find its footing in the market, but Energous is hoping to change that with WattUp. As reported by Engadget at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, WattUp is a system that uses what looks like a giant internet router, but uses a combination of Bluetooth, RF and other patent-pending technologies to wireless distribute power to devices in an open space.
This is handled by the main box locating and connecting to a device via low-energy Bluetooth, and then sending out a series of focused RF signals to the device. These signals are sent out on the same bands as Wi-Fi, and then converted to DC power to charge the battery.
“Energous’ system is called WattUp, and it works using a mix of RF, Bluetooth and a lot of patent-pending technology. The transmitter is where most of the magic happens. It communicates with and locates compatible devices using low-energy Bluetooth. Once they’ve established contact with a device, they send out focused RF signals on the same bands as WiFi that are then absorbed and converted into DC power by a tiny chip embedded in the device. These transmitters can be built into household appliances, TVs, speakers and standalone energy routers.“
The system is able to charge a device within 20 feet of the main box at this point, but that distance will improve over time. More than that, though, the entire system is going to get smarter, according to Energous, and it will use that intelligence to actively choose which devices to charge based on the amount of juice left in the battery. So, if there are multiple devices in a room, WattUp will proactively select which device to charge first, based on which one has less battery life remaining. Then, once that device is charged it will automatically switch to another device that needs some power.
It is certainly an interesting idea, and true wireless charging would more than likely be a welcomed addition to any home or business. What do you think of the idea?