In a major step forward for charging technology, the FCC has certified the first at-a-distance wireless charging system. The technology, called WattUp, is developed by Energous Corporation and uses a radio frequency (RF) charging system to send power to devices wirelessly at distances of up to several feet. The specific system certified by the FCC is the WattUp Mid Field transmitter, which can act as both a traditional induction wireless charging pad or wirelessly send power to devices at a distance of up to three feet. The Mid Field transmitter can also charge multiple devices simultaneously.
The technology works by sending an RF signal to WattUp-enabled devices upon request. The receiver inside the device then converts the RF energy signal into a DC current which charges the battery. WattUp pairs hardware and software, using multiple antennas and pocket-forming technology to safely receive multiple small RF energy beams from the transmitter. The system can currently charge at a distance of 15 feet from each end of the transmitter, but the Mid Field transmitter that is currently certified by the FCC can only charge at a maximum distance of three feet away.
Energous is continuing to develop the system and hopes to implement WattUp technology into consumer electronics in the near future. In the meantime, we’ll make do with charging pads and traditional cords, but it looks like there may soon be a better way to charge our smartphones.