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May 23, 2014

Finally, a Wireless Charging Technology that Works Across Rooms




Wireless charging technology isn’t as awesome as it sounds. Sure, it’s wireless, but it’s also range-less: you have to put the device on a pad and leave it there for energy to be recovered.

Soon, though, this will no longer be the case. Not if Energous has its way, and I’m pretty sure it will have the world eating from the palm of its hand soon enough. After all, when a company solves a problem that the MIT hasn’t been able to overcome (although it might have been due to focus on other things), you know you’re looking at something potentially world-changing. Energous has introduced WattUp, a wireless charging technology that can charge from a distance. All you need to do is connect the phone, or whatever, to an external receiver, or put it in a special protective case and leave it there for a while. Sure, it’s not the same as having the technology embedded in your phone, but it’s a big step forward.

A WattUp transmitter was shown capable of recharging smartphones, and there’s even a WattUp app that detects if any wireless charging devices exist in the area. The range is of 10 feet / 3 meters. Presumably, a phone case with WattUp would cost $75 / €75 to $125 / €125, while a primary transmitter, the source as it were, would go for $300 / €300. Not sure how many years it will take for retail availability to ramp up though. No word on adapters for stuff like the Motorola Moto 360 smartwatch, but I’m sure they won’t be left out.

Energous WattUp used in a coffee shop
Image credits to Energous

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