Energous Gets FCC Certification for WattUp Wire-Free Charging Technology

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Nearly three years after Energous debuted its wire-free "power-at-a-distance" charging system called WattUp, the Federal Communications Commission has now approved the technology. Specifically, the FCC certification is for the company's first-generation WattUp Mid Field transmitter, which powers up devices at a distance of up to three feet away (via Engadget).

The news marks the first FCC certification ever for a wire-free charging system, which Energous said will open up "a tremendous opportunity for the electronics industry." The company mentioned that the WattUp Mid Field transmitter could be used in the future by "nearly any small electronic device," including smartphones, tablets, smart watches, earbuds, wireless keyboards and mice, smart speakers, and more.


Next, Energous will demonstrate the WattUp technology at CES 2018 in January. CEO Stephen R. Rizzone mentioned that the system's ability to charge both wire-free and via a traditional mat system will give WattUp an edge on the market.
"Older wireless charging technologies have received limited adoption over the past 15 years, and are confined to contact-based charging only. The FCC certification of Energous' power-at-a-distance wireless charging transmitter is a major market milestone. It opens up options, outside of just contact-based charging, to Wireless Charging 2.0: an ecosystem where devices can be charged both, via pad and at a distance," said Stephen R. Rizzone, president and CEO of Energous.

"Untethered, wire-free charging -- such as charging a fitness band even while wearing it -- is exactly what consumers have been waiting for. We are now in a position to move our consumer electronics, IoT and smart home customers forward at an accelerated pace."
WattUp is able to charge any battery-operated device using a technique that Energous likens to Wi-Fi, as long as the device has one of the company's receivers. A WattUp Power Router (a "transmitter") emits energy using a radio frequency signal delivered by miniature antenna arrays and custom control chips. Devices with a WattUp "receiver" (consisting of multiple miniature antennas) are then able to convert that RF signal into battery power.

Following the debut of WattUp at CES 2015, speculation pointed towards Apple possibly working with Energous on implementing the receiver technology directly into future iPhones, or at least helping the company build a MFi certified WattUp iPhone accessory. Once rumors of wireless charging in the 2017 iPhone lineup began swirling, Apple and Energous were again tied together, but eventually Apple opted for inductive wireless charging on the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.

Energous doesn't have any consumer-available products for purchase yet, but it's expected that the company will announce more news about its WattUp device at CES, which runs January 9 through 12 in Las Vegas.

Article Link: Energous Gets FCC Certification for WattUp Wire-Free Charging Technology
 
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PickUrPoison

macrumors 604
Sep 12, 2017
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It would be awesome to put that transmitter on the end of a 200 foot extension cord.

I could tie it around my foot, then no matter where I went in my house or office, my phone would always be charging! (as long as I held my phone below my waist.)
 
At last Mr. Tesla... at last! http://www.teslasociety.com/tesla_tower.htm

Maybe 2018 will actually bring something in that direction... only 100+ years later.

Of course, now that a way has been figured out to monetize the wireless transmissions, something like this can actually come to market and be used. Tesla's original idea would have basically given electricity users FREE access to power... and we can't have that. Much, much better to string up wires, poles and the all-important meters.
 
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longpath

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Apr 21, 2003
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I'd love to see this, especially if the power transmitters got integrated into the CarPlay specification and into future versions of the HomePod.
 

Amazing Iceman

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Nov 8, 2008
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It would be awesome to put that transmitter on the end of a 200 foot extension cord.

I could tie it around my foot, then no matter where I went in my house or office, my phone would always be charging! (as long as I held my phone below my waist.)

You can do that now with a regular charger, just tie it around your waist and plug it into your phone in your pocket.
No need to wait, plus you won't be tripping and falling because there's nothing tied to your foot.
 

longpath

macrumors member
Apr 21, 2003
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Though this is what wireless charging should be like, I don’t think Apple will use this technology. Why? Because they want to keep selling their current chargers and their new AirPower pads at crazy prices.
What keeps Apple from selling Energous tech integrated into HomePod or similar high margin product?
 

69Mustang

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Jan 7, 2014
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In between a rock and a hard place
Engergous... offering a 3ft trickle charge. Yay, I guess. Maybe this will help mitigate the possible losses at Dialog Semi if Apple brings power management in-house. Hahahahahaha. No. For those unaware of what I'm rambling about, Dialog is basically the shadow owner of Energous. Technically they aren't but practically speaking...

If it's not clear, I think Energous is butt.
 

asdavis10

macrumors 6502
Feb 3, 2008
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I'm ready for truly wireless charging like this, however, I'd want there to be some kind of user controls to set when your phone will automatically charge. Otherwise batteries will be constantly charging. I'd either want it to automatically charge at 50% or when I tell it to.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
Engergous... offering a 3ft trickle charge. Yay, I guess. Maybe this will help mitigate the possible losses at Dialog Semi if Apple brings power management in-house.
The most knowledgeable response so far.

1. Dialog has already announced that Apple is going to drop them, and they're the exclusive suppliers for Energous chips. Although perhaps Apple could license to make their own for their own use. Unclear.

2. This is only for a trickle charge within 35" in a small cone from the transmitter. And any movement inside 20" turns it off.

Here's the FCC explanation of the device:

ernerg-fcc.jpg


Here's a photo of the antenna and its inner exclusion zone. Any movement... even breathing... inside of 20" (50cm) and it shuts off for about 30 secs to keep from transmitting into human flesh over SAR limits.

energ-pic.JPG


I am not an antenna engineer, but the filing seems to indicate that the 12 antennas in the transmitter combined send about 10 watts (*). No idea how much total power is available at a nominal 60cm (24") distance, but since by that point it meets SAR standards, it's gotta be a trickle. (For antenna types, the test results show 45-75 v/ms at inner to outer test pockets.)

Plus, according to the filing it works best if the phone is in landscape mode, and an inch or so off the table. So by the time you worry about:
  • finding enough clear space on your desk to put it (!),
  • the phone's correct placement,
  • staying inside 3 feet almost directly in front, and yet
  • not making any movements inside the 20" safety arc,

you might as well use a cable or inductive charging stand.

In short, this is just another Energous BS filing designed to keep naive investors around.

(*) Which is why this was filed under Part 18 for industrial / science / medical devices instead of the usual consumer Part 15 with its max 1 Watt output.
 
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Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
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Slow down cowboys. This just got certification. It will be a year (at least) before we see it built into any major products. Likely to see accessory cases and adapters first -- similar to how Qi started. Manufacturers will not be rushing into adopting until they see it working well in real life. Also the 3 ft range is really just the tip of the iceberg here. It's not going to be truly useful for most people unless it has at least the same range at BT 5.0.
 
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