Wireless charging has been around for a few years, but for the most part a smartphone, tablet, or other gadget actually needs to be touching a charging pad (or placed very close) for the system to work.
Energous has been developing a system that can charge your devices from up to 15 feet away.
While that system isn’t quite ready to go yet, Energous is taking an important first step. The company has revealed 6 companies that will be releasing products with Energous WattUp technology for wireless charging. Right now that means these low-power devices will need to be placed near a charging station. But if and when the high-power transmitters hit the market, you’ll be able to charge the gadgets announced today using that 15-foot charger.
So what kind of gadgets are we talking about? Here’s a quick rundown:
- Chipolo Plus Gen 2 Bluetooth tracker
- Chipolo Sticker wireless tracking device
- CVR Carotid Stenotic Scan medical device for detecting athersclerosis and stenosis
- Peri MicroPACK 700 mAh rapid charging portable battery
- Sejin miniature WattUp transmitter (for charging the devices listed above and below)
- SK Telesys hearing aid
- SK Telesys smart ID card
- Tactual Lab Prism Pen digital pen
While some of these products are pretty niche, like the CVR medical scanner and SK Telesys hearing aid, there are others that show what could eventually be possible with this type of technology. For example, imagine digital pens and wireless mice, and keyboards that never need to have their batteries changed, because they always charge when they’re within range of a transmitter.
Peri’s 700 mAh battery may not be big enough to fully charge your phone, but it should give you a bit of juice on the go any time you plug it into the USB port of your phone. And thanks to wireless charging, as soon as the battery is depleted, it should begin charging again.
At least that’s the promise for the future. For now, all of these devices need to be very close to a charging pad, because the only WattUp transmitters that will be available are small, low-power units. But it’s a start.