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New wireless charging tech may enhance your next phone, thanks to FCC approval

The world is going wireless. However, while wireless charging does exist, it’s clearly still in its infancy.

It usually, for example, requires the purchase of a wireless charging pad, which you place your device on when you want to charge it. There’s one company, however, working on a wireless charging method that works wherever your phone is.

The company is called Energous, and its wireless charging product, WattUp, essentially uses a transmitter to charge your devices wherever you are in the house, even if the device is in your pocket or purse. Energous just got FCC approval for a version of WattUp, marking a big step in the creation of truly wireless charging.

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Energous’ system requires the use of a small microchip, which is attached to whatever you want to charge. While this could be a drawback, if the technology takes off, the microchip could be built into devices by manufacturers.

Unfortunately, there’s another major drawback to the tech that the FCC approved. The FCC only approved the tech for small gadgets, and those gadgets have to remain in contact with the miniature WattUp transmitter to charge, which is not the same wireless charging vision that Energous first presented. But it is a step in the right direction. Energous CEO Steve Rizzone says that the FCC approval is phase one, and that the next phase will include technology that can charge at short distances — perhaps a few inches.

FCC approval is a pretty big deal for this kind of technology — it basically means that the technology, at least in its current incarnation, won’t cause any interference with other devices.

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Now that Energous has FCC approval, it will likely start looking for potential partners who might want to build the tech into their devices. We don’t know when Energous plans to take the wraps off of phase two of its product, but if companies start building the required chips into devices, truly wireless charging could be on the horizon.

Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen wireless charging technology that’s better than the charging pads we currently use. Ossia is working on a product similar to Energous, called the Cota, which can reportedly charge a phone from up to 30 feet away. If these new products are anything to go by, we could have truly wireless charging within a few years.