The concept of wireless charging is nothing new. Smartphone manufacturers like Nokia have even incorporated the technology in their devices. Over time many companies have worked to improve wireless charging, but emphasis being on the ability to charge devices wirelessly from a distance, and Energous is a company that’s showing off its efforts at CES 2015. Energous has introduced WattUp which promises to charge devices wirelessly from as much as 30 feet away.
WattUp relies on Bluetooth, RF and a generous amount technology that’s still patent-pending for this purpose. There’s a transmitter that locates and communicates with compatible devices through Bluetooth LE. As the contact is established focused RF signals are sent to the device on bands similar to Wi-Fi, those signals are absorbed and converted into DC power by a chip that’s embedded in the device.
The transmitter can be built into a variety of products like TVs, household appliances and even “energy routers,” the sole purpose of which is to provide wireless charging from a distance.
The energy routers can either be open, providing power to any and all devices, or closed where only approved devices are charged when connection is established. It can prioritize devices based on the amount of power they have left and adjust accordingly when those devices are charged.
Energous may have put this together but there’s no support yet from major device manufacturers. Devices that were used for the demo at CES 2015 had modified battery cases. The company is willing to license the technology so that it can be integrated into other devices, Energous is hopeful that this will bring the technology to market by 2016.
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