Wireless charging is set to become truly wireless, albeit up to a distance of 3-feet now that the FCC has approved the WattUp Mid Field transmitter that promises to charge up gadgets without requiring them to be in physical contact with any charging board and such. The nearest we have had so far were wireless chargers that saved us from the hassles of plugging in the device but were itself connected to a power source via wires.
Made by San Jose based start-up Energous, the system uses radio frequency waves to transmit electrical energy to nearby devices though the recipient devices need to have a receiver installed to get charged. The charging infrastructure is also independent of any particular make of the device or platform and will work for any device so long as it is attached to the right receiver.
Another positive aspect with the WattUp Mid Field transmitter is that it can charge multiple and diverse range of devices at one go. So be it smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, earbuds or whatever, those can all get charged up so long as they are fitted with the corresponding receiver.
That said, Energous could well end up being lapped up by the biggies in the business, Apple, Samsung and the likes, and is integrated to their respective ecosystem. That would serve as an added incentive to buying their products though would deprive others of the benefit of what seems to be an excellent technological innovation.
The WattUp Mid Field transmitter, however, isn’t alone in the business as there already is the Pi wireless chargers – they are going to be so referred until we have a better term for them – made by another start-up by the same name. However, Pi has a shorter charging distance of 1-feet, and the Energous product betters that by 2-feet.
Interestingly, Energous started off claiming they can offer wireless charging to up to a distance of 15-feet. Charging distance again isn’t the only differentiating factor between Energous and Pi as unlike the former, Pi is based on resonant induction technology.
Energous meanwhile said they don’t have any market-ready product to show off as of now. However, the company does plan to showcase the technology at the upcoming CES event due in just about a couple of weeks’ time. CES 2018 starts Jan. 9 and runs through Jan. 12 in Las Vegas.