Wireless charging was supposed to take the world by storm, but it has failed miserably. Partly because there is no single standard, but also because it doesn’t feel truly wireless. It might be a little more convenient to simply place your device on a pad rather than plugging it in, but you still have to walk over and do it.
Things are about to change because Energous Corporation is demonstrating something very cool at CES this year. The company has been working on an award-winning patent and trademark-pending wireless charging technology for a number of years, and it appears to be ready for primetime.
It’s called WattUp, and it can charge multiple devices over-the-air in the home, office, or even in the car using the same radio bands as a Wi-Fi router. You no longer have to place your device on a pad because it works at a distance of up to 15 feet.
The company demonstrated its new mini WattUp transmitter, which is aimed at Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable devices. It can be as small as a USB thumb drive, and it can plug into a computer for power. This mini transmitter would replace other charging cables and ship in-the-box with small devices.
Other than over-the-air charging, the mini WattUp transmitter also enables manufacturers to offer fully waterproof wearables and IoT devices because contact points are no longer necessary. Coils for traditional wireless solutions are usually too big, but the WattUp receiver chip is only 3 x 3-millimeter, which means it can fit into any wearable or IoT device. Even better, the receiver will also work with other WattUp transmitters to ensure a stable, over-the-air charging ecosystem.
To give you a better idea of where WattUp is heading with this technology, check out this demo video from last year showing how your home can be transformed with over-the-air wireless charging.
The company is making evaluation kits available and expects to partner with other manufacturers to embed the WattUp technology in various wearables and smartphones. It’s unknown when we will see the first devices, but we’re hopeful that something will get announced by the end of the year.
Make sure to check out Energous’ website for more information.