Energous Says Its Truly Wireless Charging Technology Will Ship Later This Year — In Next iPhone?

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Amid rumors that Apple will release its first iPhone models with wireless charging capabilities as early as this year, its possible partner Energous has told The Verge that its first truly wireless transmitters will begin shipping by the end of 2017, over two years after it first introduced the technology.


Energous CEO Steve Rizzone also dropped yet another hint suggesting its partner is indeed Apple. "One of the largest consumer electronic companies in the world," he said. "I cannot tell you who it is, but I can virtual guarantee that you have products from this company on your person, sitting on your desk, or at home."

Energous is the company behind WattUp, a truly wire-free, over-the-air charging technology that uses radio frequencies to charge devices from up to 15 feet away. If you walked into a room with a WattUp transmitter, for example, a smartphone with a built-in WattUp receiver would automatically begin charging.


Energous today announced that its WattUp technology will be embedded in six products on display at CES 2017 this week, such as the Chipolo Plus Bluetooth tracker and a SK Telesys hearing aid, but these implementations will require small, contact-based, portable transmitters rather than the larger, truly wireless transmitters coming.

The company said these early devices integrated with WattUp receiver technology will be able to seamlessly transition from being charged by the contact-based transmitters to forthcoming larger transmitters that offer over-the-air charging at-a-distance of up to 15 feet, seemingly by the end of this year.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest Apple and Energous have partnered on wireless charging. Energous has claimed it is working with "one of the top five consumer electronics companies," it has relationships with Apple manufacturers TSMC and Foxconn, and both Apple and Energous are members of ANSI.

Energous certification documents dating back to 2014 were also uncovered with an "Apple compliance testing" listing, and Apple supplier Dialog Semiconductor recently made a $10 million investment in Energous. Dialog makes power management chips and is said to get as much as three quarters of its business from Apple.

The deal Energous made reportedly gives its mystery partner first dibs on shipping its truly wireless charging technology "inside of phones, laptops, tablets, and certain wearables and accessories," and given the multiple rumors from credible sources, it appears one of those products could be the next iPhone.

Given that Apple has removed the headphone jack on iPhone 7 models, leaving the Lightning connector with the double duty of charging and connecting wired headphones, the move towards wireless charging would be appropriate.

Article Link: Energous Says Its Truly Wireless Charging Technology Will Ship Later This Year -- In Next iPhone?
 
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Appleaker

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Jun 13, 2016
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Hopefully Apple will implement this with the 2017 iPhone(s). It might be too late, but either way this will make it into all future Apple products since it is the future of charging.

In terms of other products, it would also solve the potential battery life issues of a Touch Bar keyboard.
 
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samcraig

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Cue the concerns about how this might affect our physical health (yes, in my ignorance, I think I'm one of those who's concerned).
I'm genuinely concerned with yet another type of "wave" bouncing around inside my house. And call me one of those "get off my lawn" types - but would we really know how safe it is now? Or in 10/20/30 years after it's been used a long time.
 

ArtOfWarfare

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Nov 26, 2007
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Sound great in theory...

but honestly I would be worried about safety. Do I want electromagnetic radiation strong enough to charge a phone flying through my house or car that I am exposed to continuously? I don't think so personally.
Why would you be exposed to it continuously? That'd just be a waste of energy. It should detect when a compatible battery is nearby and adequately depleted, it should charge it back to full, and then it should go back to passively waiting for another battery to charge.

---

Maybe I'll upgrade my iPhone this year. My 6+ is still going strong... but I'm such a sucker for neat things, and this sounds neat enough. I had been planning on holding out for another year or two.
 

WBRacing

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"I cannot tell you who it is, but I can virtual guarantee that you have products from this company on your person, sitting on your desk, or at home."
Was this statement just aimed at the Verge interviewers or an audience or as a wider press release? I only ask as I know lots of people who don't have any Apple products and don't believe that anyone would make the assumption that everybody has something of theirs on their person, desk or at home.

Makes me think that he is referring to another company.

I'd also prefer batteries to last longer rather than to rely on wireless charging. I used a QI charger some months ago and my phone got really, unpleasantly hot with not much charge to show or it.
 
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ksnell

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Hopefully Apple will implement this with the 2017 iPhone(s). It might be too late, but either way this will make it into all future Apple products since it is the future of charging.

In terms of other products, it would also solve the potential battery life issues of a Touch Bar keyboard.
Same for Apple Watch. You would not need to remove it when you sleep and would then have sleep tracking too.
 

Robert.Walter

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Jul 10, 2012
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I like the idea.

Many have made claims of production viable wireless charging with nothing coming of it (Visteon comes to mind).

I have no doubt that it will come, but to move the amount of energy necessary to charge a battery not slowly must require some heavy energy in those waves.

We know there are limits at which certain frequencies and strength are quickly injurious. On the other end we don't see issues with Bluetooth or WiFi or cell phoning.

Idk but effective wireless charging would seem to be more high than low energy. Can anybody point to studies that this is not unhealthy?
 
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shk718

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Jun 26, 2007
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For this to work the way it needs to Apple needs widespread adoption - they need transmitters everywhere
 

dannys1

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Sound great in theory...

but honestly I would be worried about safety. Do I want electromagnetic radiation strong enough to charge a phone flying through my house or car that I am exposed to continuously? I don't think so personally.
Tell you what then, you turn the feature off and let the rest of us use it.

You might want to wrap yourself in all the electromagnetic energy that is already penetrating your brain in your house though.
 

foxconn

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Cue the concerns about how this might affect our physical health (yes, in my ignorance, I think I'm one of those who's concerned).
It's a bit silly to be living in fear.

We have a longer life expectancy now than we did back in the day and that's despite the fact that we have much more "hazards" coming at us everywhere we go.

People make issues out of anything and unfortunately with the internet, you can find an article backing any agenda you're trying to push.

I can find you articles that say water is bad for you and some idiots probably believe it.
 

foxconn

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Sound great in theory...

but honestly I would be worried about safety. Do I want electromagnetic radiation strong enough to charge a phone flying through my house or car that I am exposed to continuously? I don't think so personally.
Oh boy... Don't go outside then. There's radiation from the sun.

Don't buy a cell phone then because that's radiation.
 

dannys1

macrumors 68030
Sep 19, 2007
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Wireless charging sounds cool. But will it take longer to charge a device? And what if any health concerns are there?
It doesn't matter how long it takes to charge the device, forget running the phone to 10% and then plugging it in, the idea is you'll trickle charge it ALL the time no matter which room you're in with a transmitter, it should be slow, but just fast enough to continue to charge the phone in a positive manner when in heavy use, thats all thats needed, to keep it topped up, not fast charge it from 0.

Radio waves have been around long before humans, there are no health concerns - that doesn't stop people turning their wifi off at night though does it, or refusing to wear bluetooth headphones cos of zapping it straight to their (borderline useless) brains.
 

rp2011

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Oct 12, 2010
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Well I just got my beloved SE and 7 plus this year so I won't be getting the 8. But it looks like a very cool upgrade for anyone upgrading. I'm perfectly fine waiting it out and getting the post-beta 8s or whatever they call next years version.
 

rajat8676

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Feb 5, 2013
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The video ad is horrible. Hopefully their product must be good considering Apple is buying their technology.
 
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