Earlier this year at CES 2017, in Las Vegas, we met with a company with an interesting concept: Wireless charging in any object in your home or even outdoors. Backpacks, bowls, tables, etc. They are working to create an easy way to charge your gaming accessories, smartphone, smartwatch, your Bluetooth headphones (etc), anywhere you want with a simple device installed anywhere in your home. If you missed the interview with Humavox, here’s another look.
Powercast is another player in wireless charging, who has also recently been given FCC approval to sell development kits to manufacturers of these types of devices. They can be wirelessly charged on the go, wherever you are. Popular places you typically visit would install transmitters in their buildings or grounds to overlap at an 80ft range. This means: shopping malls, boutiques, amusement parks, and pretty much any retail location, or really any commercial location would be charging your devices, including your wearables, while you shop, bop, party or just ride coasters all day.
Powercast’s Wireless Power Development kit (P1110-EVAL-01) comes with the FCC approved Powercaster transmitter, battery recharging boards to be installed in various devices, a Powerharvester evaluation board, and receiving antenna. It also includes BLE radio boards, and a first generation new PowerSpot transmitter. The recharging boards of course come in familiar shapes for popular device designs such as wristbands and smart cards for phones or similar. The manufacturer suggests installing the PowerSpot, a first generation sub assembly in such things as coat racks, alarm clocks, or even, as our previous video will demonstrate, in tables or even decorative bowls. The plan by Powercast is that in the future, consumers devices will recharge anywhere in the environment without use of any wires, or charging mats.
The design is familiar to anyone who understands wireless power conversion: Radio frequency energy is broadcasted into the environment, store, home, or amusement park concession stand. The power harvesting technology in your smartwatch or phone then converts that to usable DC power with a 75% efficiency. The device operates at relatively low power, and in the 10MHz to 6GHz range and is designed to harvest power anywhere in the range while still meeting both U.S. and global standards for user safety and device interference.
For Developers: The P1110-EVAL-01 kit is $ 1250 USD and is supplied with both iOS and Android apps allowing real time monitoring of the transmission of measured charge and battery voltage using their BLE live software, completely without any cables to connect. The kit is available through Mouser, Arrow, and Future Electronics. This is the link for the user manual.
We are looking forward to more of these kinds of technologies becoming more prevalent in the commercial/retail industries, and hopefully, soon in the home use category. Things are moving fast in the world, don’t blink or you might just be left behind. See you soon with more interesting bits to explore in the very near future.
Powercast, established in 2003, is the leading provider of RF-based wireless power technologies that provide power-over-distance, eliminate or reduce the need for batteries, and power or charge devices without wires and connectors. Powercast’s IP portfolio includes 41 patents worldwide (21 in the US) and 29 patents pending. www.powercastco.com.