May 9th, 2016

Wireless charging has become a staple for many devices being released in today’s day and age. But that usually requires purchasing a wireless charging pad, and setting it up to leave your phone in a specific place. What if we told you that someone is working on a wireless charging solution that wouldn’t require you to have your phone leave your pocket, but still have the ability to charge wirelessly?

wattup devices

In the past, we’ve mentioned a company by the name of Energous, with a product known as WattUp. Energous has just gotten FCC approval for its first solution to wireless charging, but we’re still a little bit far off from its vision of true wireless charging.

WattUp is a technology that uses radio waves to charge all of your devicess wirelessly, without the need for cables, or charging pads, or anything of the sort. Instead, you would be able to charge your devices from wherever you are in your abode, even if they’re just sitting in your purse or pocket. In order for WattUp to work, there would need to be a small microchip attached to the device you are trying to charge, and that seems to be where the biggest hang up is in terms of getting their true vision accepted into widespread usage.

The microchip would be small enough to be put into smartphones, tablets or smartwatches, making it possible for users to charge all of their devices, not just smartphones, without the need of wires or charging pads. But the FCC needs to confirm that the transmitter used would not cause any type of interference with any other wireless devices, a problem which could leading to some type of malfunction or security issues.

This is a big hurdle that has been cleared because now Energous can approach various companies, get the companies on board with the technology, and start producing devices with Energous built right in. Then, consumers would only need to purchase a WattUp transmitter, and you would be free and clear to reap the benefits of this amazing innovation.

energous wattup

This thermostat could have a WattUp transmitter built-in

Unfortunately, the product that was approved today isn’t quite as elegant as we originally anticipated. It requires that the device being charged has Energous’ technology embedded within it, and it must stay in contact with the WattUp transmitter in order for the device to be charged.

wattup transmitter

Of course, there are other contact-based wireless charging technologies such as Qi that manufacturers are already building into their products for wireless charging, but the more competition there is, the better. That said, today’s FCC approval is just “the first step” in Energous’ plans for wireless charging.

Their next step will be to introduce a solution that can charge your device wirelessly while being just a few inches away from the WattUp transmitter. We imagine their goal will be to increment these distances more and more with each new revision until they eventually receive approval for their long distance charging methods.

There are other methods that are being tested for truly wireless charging, such as using sound waves or beaming a signal from various home fixtures (like ceiling lights) to your devices. But Marty Cooper, the man who invented the cell phone, is putting his money on Energous.

We don’t know when Energous plans to unveil step 2 of their process to take over wireless charging for everyone, but for now, its time for them to set their sights on signing deals with the manufacturers and getting these Energous chips embedded into the devices that we will purchase.

[via CNN Money]

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