This seems to good to be true, but Wi-Charge is serious about delivering a solution that will allow all sorts of devices to be free from power outlets and battery changes. And without burning your brain cells... According to the Israeli company, the technology uses safe invisible light, and provides enough power to charge a phone across a room. "With Wi-Charge, mobile and IoT devices appear to charge autonomously. New applications open for homes, offices, factories and public spaces. Power is delivered using safe, focused, beams of invisible infrared light," it's the company's pitch.
The company's website details that the system uses transmitters connected to a standard power source that deliver power to nearby "plug-in" receivers. These receivers use a miniature photovoltaic cell to convert transmitted light into electrical power and can be embedded in mobile devices or connected into an existing charging port - with a USB-C or Lightning connector. The transmitters are typically placed on the ceiling covering the room area - up to 10 meters away - and they are able to automatically identify chargeable devices and discover their power requirements. This enables several devices to be charged at the same time as long as they are reached by the beams of invisible infrared light. When a person or object interrupts the beam, the process is stopped and resumes as soon as line of sight is reestablished. Power priority between multiple devices is based on power requirements, battery level and other parameters.
In the case of the mentioned smart speakers, the company provides a Wi-Charge kit that is basically a battery base, that holds either an Amazon Echo Dot or Google Home Mini. Once the smart speaker transformation is complete, there are no wires and the use of the product remains unchanged, except that users gain new freedoms on placement options. Previously, one needed to place the speaker near a power outlet and then route or hide the power cord. With the Wireless Power Kit, that is no longer a problem. The smart speaker can be on a table, hang on a wall, or work practically anywhere in the room.
"Powered by Wi-Charge" OEM Program
Wi-Charge also announced the "Powered by Wi-Charge OEM Program," aimed at helping select partners bring wirelessly-powered products to market, such as wireless smart home speakers, home security devices, phone charging solutions and many additional innovative products that were previously constrained by battery power or power cords.
"Our award-winning Wireless Power Kit demonstrates the possibilities of converting popular smart home devices into completely wireless products," says Yuval Boger, Chief Marketing Officer, Wi-Charge. "Our new 'Powered by Wi-Charge' OEM package includes, in our opinion, everything a partner needs to bring a wirelessly-powered appliance to market."
The "Powered by Wi-Charge" OEM Program includes the hardware components such as a wireless charger and wireless power receiver modules, documentation and reference design schematics, and direct access to Wi-Charge engineers to support getting the product to market. This includes system engineering help, assistance with obtaining the required safety certifications, sharing of best practices and more. The OEM program also considers the option of replacing modules with future hardware versions at no cost.
"To ensure the success of OEM partners in this program, Wi-Charge will be accepting a limited number of partners into the program at this stage. OEMs interested in participating can contact Wi-Charge for additional details, including costs and logistics," the company states.
The Wireless Power Kit is available as a reference implementation for manufacturers that seek to incorporate Wi-Charge long-range wireless power modules into their own product line.
For those interested in this technology, Wi-Charge will be attending CES 2019 in Las Vegas (8-11 January), where for a second year in a row, the company has been selected as an CES Innovation Award recipient in the Home Audio/Video product category. Wi-Charge's Wireless Power Kit for Amazon Echo and Google Home will be on display in the Innovation Awards Showcase at CES 2019, as well as in the Wi-Charge booth at the Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall 4, booth 36522.
"We are proud to that our breakthrough innovation is recognized for the second year in a row,” says Yuval Boger, Chief Marketing Officer, Wi-Charge. “The sky is the limit when you are not tethered to a power outlet. Our Wireless Power Kit demonstrates how you can significantly improve on everyday smart home products by adding our wireless power modules”.