We’ve all heard the promise of wireless charging, but there have always been strings attached. Whether it’s a charging pad, a special case, or a designated area where your phone needs to be to receive a charge, there is yet to be a simple, uniform method of wireless charging.
While we’re still far off from a fully wireless charging solution, the FCC has just approved a relatively new product that may be a large first step in the journey towards total wireless charging. WattUp, a small microchip developed by tech company Energous, has been designed to allow your devices to charge anywhere within 15 feet of a transmitter, even if they’re in your pocket or bag. This means no more charging mats, power supplies, cables, or bulky charging cases.
WattUp works by using a small receiver to accept radio frequencies sent out via a transmitter. The small receiver converts and stores this energy as usable battery power for your device. While this charging method has been tested by other companies such as Qi over the past few years, WattUp is the first solution to receive initial FCC approval. That being said, the FCC still needs to rule out the potential for any type of malfunction or security risks caused by interference from the transmitter.
One of the most promising things about WattUp is that its compact size makes it an ideal solution for all wireless devices. This means that your phone, tablet, wireless keyboard and mouse, game console controllers, LED lights, remote controls (really anything that requires less than 10 watts to function) could be charged using WattUp.
If Energous can move forward with the WattUp project and start partnering with manufacturing companies, devices may come pre-built with the WattUp receiver. This way, consumers would only need to purchase a transmitter to begin using wireless charging. For the time being, those of us that want wireless charging will simply have to settle for the solutions currently out on the market.