Long-distance wireless charging returns slightly at CES 2022

This is a similar story Full of energy, It announced a series of impressive partnerships and demonstrated its WattUp technology many times, but it has not yet reached consumers. Tech innovator Did not go to the market. wisdom Switch to electric vehicles. Powercast was one of the first companies to release consumer devices. Wireless charging handle and transmitter It is suitable for Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controller, but it costs $150 and has a range of only about one foot. The killer products driving adoption remain elusive.


GuruThe company behind Motorola’s presentation may be a few steps ahead of its peers. It uses a radio frequency lens to send the focused beam from the generating unit (Gu) to the recovery unit (Ru). GuRu co-founder and chief scientific consultant Ali Hajimiri showed me a pair of microchips with built-in antennas, about the size of Lego bricks, and said that the company has developed flexible materials that allow the technology to be used in different types of equipment. Used in.

Hajimiri said: “We are the only company that can provide multiple watts of power to multiple devices of multiple meters at the same time.”

The first time I saw GuRu at CES 2020 was to see Rovi, which is a mobile transmitter similar to a sweeping robot that can be moved to charge different devices and close enough to emit useful power. Since then, the company has made progress. Its technology combines an integrated ASIC (application specific integrated circuit), an intelligent algorithm, can quickly and effectively concentrate energy on a small point, and it is vital that higher frequencies can be provided in a longer range More power.

Most of these technologies start with the familiar 2.4 GHz frequency of Wi-Fi, which is also the most effective frequency for charging Samsung’s new remote control. Energous uses the 5.8-GHz frequency, while Ossia is using its Cota technology to transition to 5.8-GHz. One of GuRu’s secrets is that it can run at 24 GHz. This jump not only means more power and longer range, it also allows the use of smaller transmitters and receivers. A smartphone-sized generator set can charge earbuds within a few feet.

“It’s like a magnifying glass, you can concentrate energy on one point, but that point can be moved, and you can make multiple points,” Hajimiri said.

Chicken and eggs

This demand for transmitters and receivers embedded in our products hindered the early adoption of long-distance wireless power supplies. This sounds convenient, but who would spend hundreds of dollars on a power router that supports a limited range of equipment or requires other modified accessories to work?

“I think a good analogy for this technology is Wi-Fi,” Hajimiri said. “In the early days, you had to buy this big and cumbersome PCMCIA card to fit into your laptop. Many people would say,’I will never use Wi-Fi because my Ethernet cable is 100 times faster .'”

Wi-Fi has improved Greatly, and we accept performance degradation to facilitate wireless. Electricity can follow the same trajectory, and there are other potential benefits.

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