CES 2015: Energous Demos Wire-Free Universal Device Charging With 'WattUp'

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Setting up a "future home environment" at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino during this year's Consumer Electronics Show, technology company Energous Corporation demoed its newest product WattUp, a Bluetooth and radio frequency-enabled transmitter that uses the same radio bands as a Wi-Fi router to deliver "intelligent, scalable power" to charge everything from smartphones and tablets to wireless keyboards and children's toys.

The patent and trademark-pending charging solution differs from most wireless charging technologies due to its lack of need for a pad or other near-field peripheral to communicate between the device needing charge and the device giving the charge. The company promises "meaningful, useful power" will be used to charge a device, not only providing the equivalent charge of a traditional wall outlet, but allowing ease-of-use in letting consumers roam up to 15 feet away from the transmitter.

"As a leading company in the development of true wire-free, uncoupled power with complete mobility, Energous is proud to be demonstrating our technology in model homes of the future. This event at CES 2015 marks a significant achievement for Energous and the industry in showing how wire-free charging can be deployed in everyday living environments." said Stephen R. Rizzone, CEO of Energous Corporation. "We believe we are the only CES exhibitor to be demonstrating true wire-free charging technology that lets users roam while their devices charge."
Energous promises WattUp will charge "in essence any battery-powered device in your home or office," but the device itself must require 10 watts or less to function with the transmitter. One WattUp transmitter can handle 12 receiver devices at any given time.

The company also detailed a mobile and web-based app that will be used to control the order and preference of charge by customers. Users can opt for manual control, only receiving charge to devices when they specifically call for it. Those needing a constant top-off can set prioritized schedules inside the app, causing heavily-used phones and tablets to receive charges once the user walks through the door, and less time-sensitive items like remote controls and keyboards to charge on their own during the day.

Energous says it will begin licensing WattUp to both wearable and smartphone accessory markets, hoping the future brings expansive partnerships with Wi-Fi routers and smartphones themselves.

Article Link: CES 2015: Energous Demos Wire-Free Universal Device Charging With 'WattUp'
 

Squilly

macrumors 68020
Nov 17, 2012
2,260
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PA
THIS is wireless charging.
I consider wireless charging the ability to charge without any additional accessories (except what goes in a wall outlet. Don't want anything else attached to the phone. This is a big stepping stone to that though.
 

2457282

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Dec 6, 2012
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I consider wireless charging the ability to charge without any additional accessories (except what goes in a wall outlet. Don't want anything else attached to the phone. This is a big stepping stone to that though.
Agreed. Adding a charging cover to the phone is the same as the induction chargers that require a charging cover. Hopefully, Apple will buy or develop similar technology to allow this without add-ons.
 

Zelmung

macrumors member
Sep 24, 2014
72
132
Vancouver
The case attachment kills it for me, but without it the product becomes meaningless. If I have to set it on a dock to charge then it's no different from conventional charging.

I'll wait for the day when companies build wireless charging receivers into their devices directly.
 

KazKam

macrumors 6502
Oct 25, 2011
490
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Every time I see one of these wireless charging solutions, what it takes/costs to achieve it, and its limitations, I also wonder... Is this really solving a problem?

Maybe there are some use cases to justify this kind of thing, I just don't see them yet. Is it really that difficult to plug in your phone/tablet?

A single cord you can take/find anywhere VS one specific place/area (which the transmitter still has a cord running to it) where you have to set it down in a specific way (with or without required accessories) or have to worry about your brain getting simultaneously microwaved (more than it is already by wi-fi, cell, and other high frequency waves).
 
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Cayden

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2014
794
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Utah
This is revolutionary. Please just build this straight into the next gen iPhones and iPads for use without the case
 

goobot

macrumors 603
Jun 26, 2009
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long island NY
I consider wireless charging the ability to charge without any additional accessories (except what goes in a wall outlet. Don't want anything else attached to the phone. This is a big stepping stone to that though.
There are no wires and you don't need to place the device on a pad so it is wireless regardless. Was wifi not wireless back before the cards weren't pre-installed on devices? Yes it was. Granted having it preinstalled would be nice.
 

aajeevlin

macrumors 65816
Mar 25, 2010
1,052
449
Every time I see one of these wireless charging solutions, what it takes/costs to achieve it, and its limitations, I also wonder... Is this really solving a problem?

Maybe there are some use cases to justify this kind of thing, I just don't see them yet. Is it really that difficult to plug in your phone/tablet?

A single cord you can take/find anywhere VS one specific place/area (which the transmitter still has a cord running to it) where you have to set it down in a specific way (with or without required accessories) or have to worry about your brain getting simultaneously microwaved (more than it is already by wi-fi, cell, and other high frequency waves).

No it's certainly not difficult to plug in your phone, the action itself is not hard. But to constantly having to remember it make it hard for certain people. Take me for example, I'm a charge freak. I plug in my phone whenever and where ever I go, to make sure it's always charged and good to go. But the rest of my family (and I assume many other people) are not mindful about the constant act of charing.

So for now (and I'm sure they will integrate that into the phone in the near future), the ability to be able to come home and starting charing without even thinking about it I think it's a huge plus. I'm actually more concerned about the safety issue with this.
 
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Yvan256

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2004
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Isn't wireless charging wasting a lot of energy? Energy that we keep trying to make at great environmental costs? :confused:
 

ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
8,845
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Isn't wireless charging wasting a lot of energy? Energy that we keep trying to make at great environmental costs? :confused:
Not sure, is it? You can attach a power monitor to one and let us know how efficient it is. I would guess it isn't as bad as you think it is, though, since you have to be smart enough to figure this stuff out in the first place, I think you must be smart enough to know how to do it efficiently (IE, communicate with the devices you're charging and scale up/down how much energy you're pumping out to accommodate it.)

I want to know: can I charge my iPhone 6+ with it now? If so, what are the dimensions of the receiver I have to attach to my iPhone, what does it look like, and how much does it cost?
 

Yvan256

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2004
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Canada
Not sure, is it? You can attach a power monitor to one and let us know how efficient it is. I would guess it isn't as bad as you think it is, though, since you have to be smart enough to figure this stuff out in the first place, I think you must be smart enough to know how to do it efficiently (IE, communicate with the devices you're charging and scale up/down how much energy you're pumping out to accommodate it.)

I want to know: can I charge my iPhone 6+ with it now? If so, what are the dimensions of the receiver I have to attach to my iPhone, what does it look like, and how much does it cost?
I'm not talking about outputting more power than the device needs, I'm talking about the losses that are inherent in transmitting power wirelessly.

Their page says "inductive power transmission is competitive with wired solutions under close proximity settings". However, competitive doesn't mean equivalent. Even if it's less than 10% losses it still means there's a loss and that energy is being wasted just because people can't be bothered to connect a simple cable.

I guess that goes hand-in-hand with the throwaway mentality of a lot of people.
 
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