Here’s Marty Cooper, who built the world’s first cell phone for Motorola in 1973. Today he sits on the board of a company called Energous, which just got approval from the FCC to deploy a new type of wireless charging.
Through radio waves.
The technology, branded as WattUp®, is currently capable of charging hearing aids and similarly small medical devices. Medium and large-scale transmitters are planned for release by 2018. Energous isn’t the only player in this new space—uBeam is attempting to charge phones with sound waves, while Wi-Charge is working with lasers. But, according to Cooper, Energous has been at it the longest, has commitments from strategic partners and uses a technology that can charge at longer distances than its competitors.
Here’s a friendly animated demo from the company’s YouTube channel:
Oh, I get it now. WattUp®. Much urban. Very street.
Anyway, for Energous to succeed there are likely to be as many regulatory hurdles as technological ones; for widespread deployment the FCC and similar governing bodies around the world will want to ensure that there is no risk of interference with other radio frequencies already in use.
More on this as it develops…