CES 2019: Energous inches us closer to over-the-air charging

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Areen Zahra
IT professional and a passionate writer who enjoys putting my love of technology into words for a general audience.

Using your gadgets while they’re is plugged in for recharge is kind of a pain. You either need to look for a socket near your bed, couch, or chair (and then hope you have a long enough cord) or carry a power bank along with you. But even this slight inconvenience may be a thing of the past. At this week’s CES 2019, Energous announced a new tool that will allow you to air charge your devices!

The company is working on a tool called WattUp, which emits power across the room from a charging station so that you charge your device through the wireless signals in the room. The company has already come up with beam emissions that extend up to one meter from the charging station.

At CES 2019, the company showed off the little chips that have made air charging possible. The company also revealed the third parties that have agreed to integrate this technology into their devices, including:

  • Vuzix’ Blade Smart Glasses
  • Audio amplification devices by Delight
  •  A prototype of a smartwatch
  • FCC-certified, production-ready transmitter solution from IDT
  • At-a-distance transmitter from Deutsche Telekom, the parent company of T-Mobile U.S.
  • Asset tracking tags address accuracy, latency and now battery life
  • A wireless car remote
  • WattUp enabled spine tracker
  • Headphones with wireless charging ability.

Vuzix’s Blade AR smart glasses just won the CES Innovation Award for Outstanding Design and Engineering, so this will be a huge draw for the company.

Currently, Energous is implementing wireless charging for small gadgets that need low power to operate. However, the CEO of Energous, Steve Rizzone said that this sort of charging is in high demand and will soon be available for smartphones as well as laptops around the end of 2020. Though he didn’t specify any brand collaborations, he also announced:

“We are excited to announce the launch of Wireless Charging 2.0 at CES 2019. For the first time ever, we are showing FCC-certified and pre-production products from a variety of partners that are implementing our WattUp wireless charging technology. These products, as well as a number of others from top-tier companies that are restricted under NDA, are production-ready and we expect to see them entering the market in the coming months.”

How does this technology work?

Air charging requires a transmitter that emits radio waves. These radio waves are received by built-in receivers on WattUp enabled devices or gadgets which then convert the waves into DC power. It’s this power that charges the device.

Rizzone told CNET:

“This has the potential to be as ubiquitous as Wi-Fi. The consumer is looking for a way to eliminate the cords, the constant need to find a wall outlet and charge.”

Energous is not the only company that is rolling out wireless charging. Companies such as Ossia and Bellevue are also trying their hands at this as well. The tiny 3mm by 3mm chip that is used in this technology might charger heavier and more distant devices.

We’re looking forward to the days when we no longer have to plug in. How about you?

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