FCC certifies first at-a-distance wireless charging system

Image Source Engadget

As the only technology that can do both contact-based and non-contact-based wireless charging, as well as charge multiple devices at once, WattUp is highly scalable and automatically charges devices, as needed, until they are topped off.

Energous has also developed a version of the charger that works from 15 feet away, but for now only the three-foot version has been approved by the FCC.

Energous, a San Jose-based startup, stated that it had received the FCC certification for the first power-at-a- distance wireless charging system for its WattUp Mid Field Transmitter.

The system works by converting electricity to a radio frequency and transmitting the signal to a compatible receiver either attached or built-into the device.

The company said this was the first FCC approval for remote wireless charging, and its stock (watt) shot up almost 100% in the hours after the announcement.

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It's all rather jargon-y and not terribly interesting to the average consumer, but the bottom line is this: the company probably did not go through all the trouble of getting FCC approval if it doesn't intend to bring the product to market within a reasonable interval. The system can now charge at a distance of 15 feet from each end of the transmitter, but the Mid Field transmitter that is now certified by the FCC can only charge at a maximum distance of three feet away. If a user get a call or wants to check something, and lift the device, the charging will stop.

With many more smart devices expected to launch with wireless charging support from next year, it may become the new standard for charging smartphones and smartwatches soon.

Better still, the WattUp system can charge multiple devices in the room simultaneously.

As the technology improves and is deployed, it should be possible for devices to passively charge without even having them out of a pocket or briefcase or other bag or otherwise remove an item from your body.

The intended device needs a special internal or external receiver for the WattUp transmitter to work, but apparently the receiver is small enough to fit into most phones, and it reportedly also works with waterproof devices.

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