When it comes to methods to recharge the batteries that have become so numerous in our lives, the technology is continuing to evolve. Although solutions have been around for a while, we are finally starting to see wireless charging pads gain some market share and start down the path of being as ubiquitous as the tangle of cords emanating from our outlets. That means the next generation should be in the works and indeed, companies are working on solutions that can recharge batteries over a distance without being in contact with a charging device. For the first time, one of these devices – the WattUp from Energous – has obtained FCC approval.
The WattUp uses RF-based power to recharge batteries up to 3 feet away from the transmitter along with any devices laid on the charger. The technology is capable of charging multiple devices simultaneously if they are within range and will stop charging devices once the battery is up to 100 percent charged. Energous says the WattUp can work with any type of device with a compatible receiver to convert the RF signal to battery power. Energous is planning to deploy an ecosystem of products that do not require a specific manufacturer of the receiver to work with the WattUp transmitter, which should open the door to quicker adoption. The lack of manufacturer specificity also means Energous devices could be deployed in places like restaurants, hotel lobbies, conferences rooms and other public places where one would have a mix of user devices present.
As the technology improves and is deployed, it should be possible for devices to passively charge without even having them out of a pocket or briefcase or other bag or otherwise remove an item from your body. This could largely put concerns with battery life in the past for future consumers.
Energous plans to be at CES 2018 from January 9th through the 12th displaying the WattUp.