The FCC approves first ‘at a distance’ wireless charging system


Image: Energous/Youtube

Ever wish you could charge your gadgets wirelessly — and we mean truly wirelessly, not by placing them on a charging surface?

That day may come quite soon, as the Federal Communications Commission has recently approved the first-ever “power-at-a-distance” wireless charger. 

Built by Energous — a company that was once rumored to partner up with Apple for distance wireless charging — the WattUp is a charger that “sends focused, RF-based power to devices” at a distance of up to three feet. 

This is the first time the FCC has certified any wireless charger that works at a distance. 

“Untethered, wire-free charging — such as charging a fitness band even while wearing it — is exactly what consumers have been waiting for. We are now in a position to move our consumer electronics, IoT and smart home customers forward at an accelerated pace,” Stephen R. Rizzone, president and CEO of Energous, said in a statement. 

Energous’ promo video claims WattUp can charge multiple devices at once and can stop charging once devices are fully charged. The WattUp receiver is tiny and can be placed into nearly any device, including waterproof devices. 

While this sounds great, we’re still eager to see how this works in real life; for example, if the charging “beam” is too narrow, that would significantly reduce the usability of the WattUp charger. 

Energous will demonstrate the WattUp charger at next year’s CES, which kicks off on Jan. 9 in Las Vegas.

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