The wireless system that can charge your 20 feet away deviceOne of the big challenges of technology is using the common wireless for charging people's devices. A lot of companies are racing to reach this goal but most of the outcomes were on short range. WattUp is a device, a demo version, made by a company called Energous that uses a mix of Bluetooth and RF.
A powerful RF transmitter is what lies in the chest of WattUp. The desire of charging from devices is announced by using bluetooth and then basically, WattUp takes that connection and uses it to direct its wi-fi signal. This is basically, pure wireless and it is not known if it will interfere with other wi-fi connections, especially if they are a lot. The wireless signal is then transformed into power by a receiver chip and the charging will start. Of course, the charging will happen only if the connection will hold.
When an electromagnetic signal is sent trough the air, it has the risk that it will drop off. The problem is that the signal decreases at a rate equal to the square of the distance so the distance is indeed a problem. One simple example is that a device is twice far away from a source, it will only get one quarter of that energy. Many experiments have been done to fix or at least reduce this problem and WattUp succeeded. A beam-forming technology is the key for the gate of wi-fi distance charging. It uses a Bluetooth connection that creates a cone of electromagnetic waves and focuses them on the target. It is known that the Qi wireless charger is efficient at about 90% but the Energous company stated that their device can hit 70% at much greater distances.
Energous has developed the proper technology and this system has the ability to charge multiple devices. For example, when you arrive home, the system will charge your tablet which you used at work. After it finishes, it will detect your phone and start charging it as well, switching from one device to another. WattUp can connect to any device that has a wireless receiver such as wearables or anything else.
Most of the people don't think at the security of their wireless provider as long as it provides for them as well. On the other hand, WattUp not only provides wireless, it also charges the devices and this might need to be secured. The Bluetooth tether that is used to direct beam-forming can also authenticate devices and allow only those to connect and charge. This is the secure mode but this system can also have a free mode. In this free mode, basically anyone who passes by with a device can charge it through the wi-fi.
This technology is amazing and the Energous company hopes to license it to device makers in the close future. Adapting devices to it won't be a big problem at all but the energy routers will be. For apartments, one could be fine but for the most of the homes, more will be needed to cover all the area.