Powercast’s PowerSpot wireless charging tech is not the only one gaining approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently -- Energous Corporation is also joining in on the fun by announcing that its WattUp Mid Field transmitter has also acquired certification from the agency.
While it is true that wireless charging has improved over the last decade or so, current forms of the technology have been mostly limited to the contact based kind (i.e. charging pads, which still require the devices being charged to touch the charger). Powercast’s PowerSpot and Energous’ WattUp wireless charging transmitters aim to explore new grounds by offering charging capabilities literally at a distance.
In the case of the WattUp Mid Field transmitter, Energous claims that the technology can allow several gadgets to be recharged up to 3 feet away, all at once, regardless of manufacturer. As reported by Bloomberg BNA, the company is expecting the first compatible devices to include small wearable devices and hearing aids.
No doubt, a lot of consumers will be wondering if smartphone and tablet devices will be next. Mobile devices are definitely not far behind, and Energous even projects that its WattUp Mid Field transmitter can start wirelessly charging handsets by next year. There is even talk that Apple may be working with Energous in having WattUp also support for iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watch units.
Of course, Apple is not the only mobile giant eager to embrace contactless charging. As a matter of fact, global tech brands like Samsung and LG already offer devices that come with wireless charging capabilities, but still, mainly through contact based charging pads. But that could change as more manufacturers, like Powercast and Energous, get FCC approval. What makes the FCC’s certification so significant is that its green light basically means the technology is okay or safe for consumer use. From here on, it is just a matter of figuring out the specifics of mass production, strategic partnerships, and product distribution.
Energous is looking to begin shipping its WattUp Mid Field transmitter to consumers by the second half of this year. As explained by Stephen Rizzone, the chief executive officer of the company, the firm is also busy coming up with other models that can charge wirelessly even at farther distances, like up to 15 feet away. Energous also has plans to have its WattUp wireless charger capable of integrating directly with Wi-Fi routers by the end of this decade.
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