Something to look forward to: Wireless charging of devices has been a popular tech goal ever since Wi-Fi became mainstream. A company claims to have taken the next major step towards this goal and has agreed to cooperate on an upcoming product from Belkin.
Israeli startup Wi-Charge has been raising funds for its infrared-based wireless charging system since its unveiling at CES 2020. The company claims to have developed a more efficient, greener and safer way to charge various small devices without cables.
The Wi-Charge RI-100 plugs into a power outlet and transmits power directly to a receiver plugged into a device. This direct infrared connection means that the RI-100 does not have to bathe an entire room in radio waves and it does not waste any of the transmitted electricity. An RI-100 can send power to multiple receivers within a radius of approximately 1,400 square feet.
RI-100 receivers can even send information back to the transmitter, telling it each device’s power needs so it can intelligently distribute power. Multiple transmitters can use this information in tandem through a cloud server, and the host network owner can monitor and control power distribution.
Each transmitter can send between 70 milliwatts and one watt of power to each device. One watt isn’t a lot to keep a smartphone charged, but it’s enough for many devices that are probably on standby most of the time.
The Wi-Charge website uses examples such as smart locks, electric toothbrushes, game controllers or wireless displays. The company hopes this will reduce the need for batteries and thus reduce e-waste.
This week, Wi-Charge told TechCrunch that it had signed a deal with Belkin, but didn’t reveal what kind of product they had planned. Wi-Charge only described it as a core consumer product and a “perfect app”.