Wireless charging is coming: Researchers juice up 40 smartphones from 5 meters away

farewell cords new tech can wirelessly charge 40 smartphones 5 meters away dcrs

Researchers from KAIST in Daejeon, South Korea have managed to extend the reach of wireless power transfer technology, bringing us closer to a world where phone and tablet chargers are as obsolete as MC Hammer’s parachute pants. 

The new technology, called “Dipole Coil Resonant System (DCRS),” can charge up to 40 smartphones simultaneously from 5 meters away. The DCRS transfers electric power wirelessly through the use of transmitters and a specially designed coil structure.

The Dipole Coil Resonant System (DCRS) can charge up to 40 smartphones simultaneously from 5 meters away.

The new method improves on a 2007 experiment conducted by researchers from MIT. That concept, called WiTricity (as in wireless electricity), was used to wirelessly power a 60-watt light bulb from over 2 meters away. MIT researchers used a magnetic field to perform the wireless energy transfer. The technology generated enough electricity to power a laptop from across a room.

The KAIST team improved on the technical limitations of the MIT concept such as a complicated coil structure (there are four coils for input, transmission, reception and load), bulky resonant coils, low transfer efficiency and sensitivity to temperature, humidity and human proximity. At a length of 3 meters, the DCRS is also smaller than the MIT prototype. 

In a press release, Prof. Chun T. Rim of the Nuclear and Quantum Engineering department at KAIST outlined the workarounds his team use to improve on the MIT concept: “Our technology proved the possibility of a new remote power delivery mechanism that has never been tried at such a long distance. Although the long-range wireless power transfer is still in an early stage of commercialization and quite costly to implement, we believe that this is the right direction for electric power to be supplied in the future. Just like we see Wi-Fi zones everywhere today, we will eventually have many Wi-Power zones at such places as restaurants and streets that provide electric power wirelessly to electronic devices. We will use all the devices anywhere without tangled wires attached and anytime without worrying about charging their batteries.” 

In its current state, the DCRS is said to have the capability to power a large LED TV and three 40-watt fans from 5 meters away. The team has also tested the technology for applications in emergency situations. Last March, the DCRS was used for a research project at the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Company. It remotely powered equipment in the nuclear power plant as a response to a simulated emergency situation similar to the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan.

Apple

Patent highlights Apple's sky-high ambitions for AirPower wireless charger

At its September event last year, Apple unveiled the AirPower -- its new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.
Deals

19 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great stocking stuffer ideas), we've rounded up 19 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth…
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.
Deals

Simplify your life with one of these wireless smartphone charger deals

Banish nightly cable fumbling with a wireless smartphone charger. If your smartphone is compatible with wireless charging, the simplicity of placing it on a pad is a beautiful thing. Wireless chargers are also excellent gifts for coworkers.
Smart Home

Uber Eats is testing a system for cheaper meal delivery

You know how Uber Pool offers cheaper trips if riders share a car? Well, Uber Eats is currently testing the same idea for meal delivery, and it could mean cheaper orders for customers.
Mobile

New Apple Watch begins saving lives one week after getting EKG feature

The Apple Watch Series 4 was updated almost a week ago with a new feature that allows users to take electrocardiogram tests -- and already it seems like the new feature is saving lives.
Mobile

OnePlus's 5G phone should arrive in May 2019, may cost up to $850

OnePlus will be among the first companies to put the new Snapdragon 855 processor into a phone, and will also release a separate and more expensive 5G phone in 2019 with the help of U.K. network EE.
Mobile

The best smartphone stocking stuffers for a very techy Christmas

If you've got a tech-loving smartphone enthusiast to buy for, we can help you out. Here's a selection of top phone accessories that would make amazing stocking stuffers so you can have a very Merry Christmas.
Mobile

Santa Claus is coming to town. Get ready with these Christmas apps

Like it or not, Christmas comes but once a year. Thankfully, we've got a list of the best Christmas apps to help get you into the holiday spirit, just in case you want to call Santa or become a Christmas elf.
Gaming

Xiaomi’s Gamepad 2.0 turns the Black Shark into a mini Switch

Chinese phone manufacturer Xiaomi has introduced the Gamepad 2.0 for its Black Shark gaming phone that launched earlier this year. The new gamepad is similar to the Switch Joy-Con, with one piece attaching to each side of the phone.
Mobile

Google makes it easy to donate to charity straight through the Play Store

As we head into the holiday season, Google announced a new feature on Google Play that makes it a little easier to donate to charity. Through the new page, you'll be able to choose from a range of charities to donate to.
Deals

REI clearance sale extends discounts on Garmin, Fitbit, and GoPro devices

Beyond the things you typically expect to find at REI — like tents, skis, and jackets — there are tons of great deals on quality tech foryour outdoor adventures. From smartwatches to action cameras, here are the best tech deals.
Product Review

The Black Shark gaming phone takes a big bite out of your free time, but the software sinks it

The world is being treated to an ever-increasing number of high-powered gaming phones. With so many great options already out, is there room for another? The Black Shark thinks so. But is it any good? We find out.
Wearables

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.