Charge your phone from three feet away with the new WattUp from Energous

Most of us have yet to experience the joys of wireless charging — Apple’s AirPower, after all, isn’t due out for a few months yet. But thanks to a new FCC approval, we may be able to skip right past that step in the evolution of powering devices. Meet the WattUp Mid Field transmitter from San Jose-based startup Energous. It claims to be capable of converting electricity into radio frequencies, and then sending the resulting energy to devices up to three feet away. All those devices need are the appropriate receiver to accept the charge. So not only will you not have the plug in your phone in the future, you won’t even need to be all that near a charger in order to rejuice your device.

While today’s wireless charging solutions still require smartphones and tablets to be placed on a charging pad, the WattUp Mid Field transmitter needs no such proximity. In fact, no physical contact is needed whatsoever. And better still, the WattUp purports to be able to recharge several devices at the same time, with no regard for what the device is. So whether it’s your computer, your wireless headphones, or your smartwatch (or all three) that is in need of some more battery, simply place the corresponding receiver on those devices, and power on WattUp.

Energous also noted that its WattUp ecosystem “ensures interoperability between receivers and transmitters, regardless of the manufacturer.” That means if you’ve an Apple device but a Samsung transmitter, you’ll still be able to recharge remotely.

“Older wireless charging technologies have received limited adoption over the past 15 years, and are confined to contact-based charging only. The FCC certification of Energous’ power-at-a-distance wireless charging transmitter is a major market milestone,” Energous president and CEO Stephen R. Rizzone said. “Untethered, wire-free charging — such as charging a fitness band even while wearing it — is exactly what consumers have been waiting for.”

Unfortunately, you’ll still have to wait awhile longer to get your hands on one of these WattUps, as there aren’t any retail units available yet. Energous plans to show off its technology at CES 2018, which will take place January 9-12 in Las Vegas, and we’ll update you with any additional news.