- For Visionaries
- For Visionaries
Do you get anxious when your phone battery is very low? It turns out you are not alone. A new study from the Cass Business School at City University in London was performed on commuters in the London subway system and revealed that battery levels impact subjects in two ways
Electricity is hard to come by in the bathroom. The number of electrical outlets is limited. In such a water-rich environment, it’s difficult to run wires to other devices. Installing new wires is a major renovation project, often requiring tearing up existing tile or ceramic surfaces. What to do?
When consumers are in their home, or at an airport, or at a shopping mall, they generally assume the products around them are safe. So when long-range wireless power is introduced into consumer environments, consumers would be justified in assuming that the particular method of power delivery is also safe.
Home security systems have dozens of battery-operated sensors: door and window sensors, glass break sensors, motion sensors, smoke detectors and more.
Inevitably, one of these batteries starts to run out. Then another. Then another. Is this a big issue?
It used to be that the only way to open a door lock was with a key. But now, there are so many additional ways and they all require connectivity and power.
How does the cost of long-range wireless power compare with wired and battery options?
When we work with customers to integrate long-range wireless power into their products, we often see them realize the benefits in two stages.
Several years ago, a friend of mine purchased a Tesla. His wife said: “OK, if that’s your only mid-life crisis, I agree with this purchase”. What can we learn about long-range wireless charging from the Tesla story?
What can we learn from Sherlock Holmes “Silver Blaze” story that featured that dog that did not bark?
The promise of long-range wireless power is: “power anywhere”. No batteries. No wire. No matter where you are within the range of the power source.
But this promise is severely tainted if the amount of power that a device can receive is very dependent on the distance from the power transmitter
For years, manufacturers of battery-operated devices such as programmable thermostats obsessed about battery life. The more power-efficient the device could be, the longer it could go without burdening the user with battery replacements.
Wireless power systems have two main parts: a power transmitter and a power receiver. For both parts, small is beautiful.
Industrial designers hate batteries. Why?
Dr. Paul Jaffe is a researcher at the US Naval Research lab. He put together a presentation outlining 15 measurements that he believes are critical to compare power beaming links.
Efficiency in wireless charging compares the power that is available to the charged device with the power used in the wireless transmitter. The higher this number is, the better.
Why is efficiency important?
These days, how often do you connect an Ethernet cable to your PC and actively download emails to your inbox?
Parks associates, a consumer electronics market research firm, released a report highlighting the problems that owners of smart home devices experience.
At the top of the list is “loss of connectivity”. What’s causing this problem?
There’s no question safety plays second fiddle to innovation. Accelerated innovation and first-to-market products generate immense buzz and “wow” the consumer, but every product should be designed with safety in mind.
“Good cooking takes time. If you are made to wait, it is to serve you better, and to please you.”. How does this relate to wireless power?
We were recently asked: The Internet of Things continues to expand, from voice assistants to smart appliances. What in your opinion is the next big thing in home IoT tech, and why?
We replied that…
It is well known that increasing the speed of an electrical circuit will increase its power consumption. What will be the impact of 5G?
It used to be that to get a higher price on a consumer product, you created a version “for babies”.
Solar energy is great – it’s plentiful, natural and available worldwide. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have solar energy indoors? And while you’re at it, also have it at night when the sun is down?
Cord cutting usually refers to cable TV subscribers that are terminating their subscription and relying instead on Internet video. But what is ‘cord cutting 2.0’?
Imagine a world in which the only transport options are planes and bicycles. It’s a perfectly fine world otherwise, but if you need to get a package from one place to the other, these are your only options. The thing is, no one knows a third option is missing.
When new technologies are introduced to the market, it is perfectly reasonable to start with the big vision, the promise of things to come. But at some point, it’s time for the “beef”: the specs and the fine, relevant details.
Some of the best technology advancements are the ones that introduce fundamental new capabilities, and in most cases, these are not immediately met with thunderous applause. Many of us remember when Wi-Fi and 3G first emerged. The connections were slow and spotty at best, but it was a monumental leap in modern computing and communication that forever changed the paradigms of our society.
Is it important to be able to charge objects when they are moving? In my opinion, it’s often not required.
As with all technologies, different people are at different ‘stages of enlightenment’ relating to wireless power. What are they?
A couple of years ago, Nissan had a wonderful demo project of their self-parking capability: they created a set of self-parking office chairs. They kept the office tidy by returning to their places when someone clapped next to them.What does this have to do with wireless power?
Enormous amounts of energy are delivered wire-free in nature. In what way?
What’s good for carpentry is also good for product design: have a well-defined set of requirements and plan your work before you start. What were the Wi-Charge requirements before we started our design?
Visitors at our SXSW Innovation Showcase booth had interests and backgrounds than were more diverse than a typical tech show. We thus had an opportunity to gauge the reactions of a crowd that was a better approximation of ‘the general public’. What did they ask?
The latest Samsung Galaxy phones (and the Huawei Promate 20) now offer ‘reverse wireless charging’. This means that no only can these phones be charged by placing them right on a Qi charging pad, they can also serve as a charging pad for other devices. But is this enough?
Every week, we get dozens of requests for partnerships. Below is my favorite from this week.
Our Ori Mor and Yuval Boger recently hosted a reddit “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session in the r/homeautomation subreddit. The AMA covered a number of topics around the wireless charging landscape, the pros and cons of long-range wireless charging and the different use cases that could benefit from such innovation.
If you had to pick one application as the ‘holy grail’ of long-range wireless charging, it would probably be phone charging. Long-range wireless charging promises to solve this issue. It can deliver phones that appear to charge themselves, that maintain good battery level without user intervention. But how can phones be charged using the Wi-Charge technology?
“Couldn’t I get the same benefits by plugging in a cable once in a while?”
“Aren’t connected home devices already fine with the way things are?”
In wireless power, small is beautiful. This is certainly true as it relates to wireless power transmitters.
“Nikola Tesla would have been proud.”
We’re happy to hear this time and again after people see our long-range wireless power demos. But is it Tesla or Einstein that should be proud?
A recent article in CEPro described how home security vendors that implemented ZigBee in their products are now releasing WiFi-enabled products. But why is ZigBee being used?
On Jan 12, 2019, the Oklahoma City Thunder played an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio threw for 243 points and lost.
Why is that the case and how does it relate to wireless power?
Safety without power is useless.
Power without safety is dangerous.
Power AND safety is…
Ever wonder why smart locks from leading vendors don’t have an integrated video camera or two-way audio so that you can communicate with the person at your door?
Visionaries don’t focus on “what can wireless power replace today?” but rather ask “what could I do with wireless power that I could not do before?”. That’s where the magic starts happening.
As we get ready to ring in the new year, we put together a short video with the top five predictions and trends we see for wireless power and wireless charging in 2019 and beyond.
Season’s Greetings from Wi-Charge. Looking forward to seeing you at CES.
Prediction: Wireless charging will inspire a new generation of smart-home DIY. Without the need for cable installation, consumers will install electronics themselves, saving hundreds of dollars on installation fees. From smart locks to speakers and sound systems, wireless charging will simplify installation and put power back in the consumer’s hands.
Wordplay aside, what’s the difference?
Prediction: Within 5 years, 80% of high-end phones and 20% of entry-level phones will include long-range wireless charging.
During the holidays, there are many lights. Whether Christmas decorations or the Jewish Menorah, light plays an important part in the season. That’s why the Wi-Charge engineering team decided to put together a small holiday demo with wireless lights. What’s really happening here?
Early on in the process of designing a device, such as smart home device, a decision has to be made: will this device be corded or battery-operated. But actually, why is this important?
Blog: It’s been a strong second half of 2018 for Wi-Charge. Here are some of our biggest accomplishments that are fueling our innovation and business momentum as we head into the new year.
Like a robotic vacuum cleaner, mobile workers need to often return to their charging base. We predict that wireless charging will fix this problem. As a result, mobile worker will become truly mobile.
As if overnight, everything at home is becoming smart. We wear smart watches. We listen to music through smart speakers. Our thermostats are smart. Our door lock recognizes faces and fingerprints. Our smart scale records our weight and fat composition. What will usher in the next wave of smart home devices?
Prediction: Without the need for large batteries, device makers can build smaller devices. This will drive a new wave of design creativity. Many smart-home appliances will shrink in size.
Prediction : Long-range wireless charging will become as prevalent as WiFi.
Blog: Battery capacity is finite. As a result, the average power consumption determines how often the user has to replace batteries. Since manufacturers want battery replacement to be as infrequent as possible, they seek to lower power consumption. Lowering power consumption limits the functionality that a device could have.
Let’s run some numbers…
Blog: Does your bathroom have enough electrical outlets? Mine doesn’t. What’s the problem and what can be done about it?
Blog: by now, you think you’ve seen everything: smart speakers, smart refrigerators, biometric door locks, even smart beds. But in reality, another wave of smart home innovation is coming. If the previous one was driven by AI and broadband, what are going to be the drivers of the next wave of innovation?
blog: One day, most phones will include an embedded Wi-Charge wireless power receiver. When that day comes, users will be free. Free from managing battery levels, from power cords, charging pads and power banks.
What can Wi-Charge do to help until that day? What can we do to pair tomorrow’s charging technology with today’s phones?
Blog: Why did Wi-Charge obtain FDA approval? Two answers…
Blog post: We think about Simplexity as “Simple on the outside, complex on the inside”. For instance, a Google search. On the outside, it’s a simple Web page. Behind the scenes, the complexity is almost unimaginable. How is it related to Wi-Charge? Read more…
Blog: When we speak to prospective customers, at some point or another we are asked “is the Wi-Charge technology safe?”.
The short answer is: YES, it is. But let’s dive a bit deeper.
Blog: one exciting opportunity for using wireless power is power delivery instead of disposable batteries. How much power is needed and how do wireless power systems meet this need?
New video: powering a Raspberry Pi single-board computer
Blog: Without power, an Internet of Things (IoT) device is just a thing. It is practically useless. How will your IoT device get the power that it needs?
blog: Long-range wireless power sends energy through the air. This is true regardless of the technology used. Some of that energy hits the wireless power receiver.
Blog: In the telecom world, “The Last Mile” refers to the final segment of a networks that deliver services to customers. What’s the power delivery analogy?
Two new “will-it-charge” videos demonstrate new applications for wireless power.
Battery anxiety – fear of running out of mobile battery – is real, but how real is it and what are people willing to do about it? Would consumers be willing to pay a monthly fee to keep their phones charged away from home? Is wireless charging the antidote for battery anxiety?
The other day, I read about a company making electronic shelf labels (sometimes also called digital price tags) that is prototyping the use of RF-based charging to deliver energy to these labels. Let’s analyze this in some detail.
The holy grail of wireless charging is charging a phone. Which wireless power technology can charge a phone in your pocket?
There is a lot of interest in wireless charging as the next “cutting the power cord” revolution in consumer electronics. A new framework explains the important attributes for a wireless power solution and discusses the performance limits of both infrared and RF technologies.
Smart locks offer key-less entry to homes and offices. Smart locks also provide rapid entry for emergency personnel. How does wireless charging help?
Smart buildings are smart because they contain a lot of sensors. These sensors collect lots of data and this data is then analyzed to optimize comfort, power consumption and so forth. But how can wireless power help?
Lucas Mearian from Computerworld interviews Yuval Boger from Wi-Charge about the state of wireless charging. Watch the video.
What is the biggest issue with today’s phones?
Is it that there are not enough pixels in the camera? Something else?
Wired Internet connections often deliver faster speeds than wireless ones, yet people preferred wireless connections. Why, and how is this related to wireless charging?
Wireless charging is great, but picking the right technology can be confusing. What should you look for when evaluating wireless power solutions? We divide these into three categories: the prerequisites, the critical attributes and then everything else.
Many years ago, water wells were a primary source of water. When a family needed water, they would send someone to get some water from the well. If you did not want to run out, you had to manage the water.
Are there any parallels to phone batteries?
One of the key areas of growth in augmented reality goggles is the enterprise space. These devices aim for battery life of an 8- or 10-hour shift. But these devices are power-hungry. They have displays, communications link, on-board camera and sometimes speech recognition. Longer battery life often means installing a larger battery.
Is there a better way?
Here’s a recap of the ‘ask me anything’ session on Wi-Charge technology
How were phones powered in the past and how will they be powered in the future? Follow this diagram to see.
Smart door locks allow intelligent locking and unlocking of doors. Smart locks struggle to balance functionality and power consumption. More functionality means shorter battery life. Why is this the case and what can be done about it?
Ever notice that batteries take up a lot of space in IoT sensors? When you open up motion detection or other home security sensors, you see that batteries take up as much of 50% of the size of the sensor.
Is there a better way?
When considering far-field wireless power technologies, the question of “line of sight” sometimes comes up. Sometimes, a straight line free of obstacles exists between the transmitter and the receiver. This is referred to as “line of sight”.
Is line of sight a requirement?
Linus Tech Tips recently invited Wi-Charge to film a live demonstration of how our wireless power technology works. See what happens next…
Qi charging pads can power phones. But what can power the charging pad? Is connecting to a power outlet always the best solution?
What if an iPhone X had an embedded far-field wireless charging receiver. Could it remain charged using only wireless charging? Only far-field charging: no charging cable, no Qi pad. Let’s analyze this.
When people see our demos, one of the first questions they ask is: will it charge _____ ?
The answer depends on the average and peak power consumption of the product in question, but we typically see three categories.
Can an iPhone be charged from across the room and without wires? Let’s find out in this video.
Everything else being equal, one would prefer to be efficient and not inefficient.
But with wireless charging, the end-to-end efficiency is even more important. Here’s why:
Once upon a time there was no email at all.
A few years later, you had to use a modem to dial in and check email. Remember AOL?
Now, it’s seamless. email just gets to your inbox. You don’t have to think about fetching it.
Can wireless power be the same?
Batteries power our society. Our cellphones and smart devices, children’s toys, IoT devices – all run on batteries. The Government estimates that Americans discard more than three billion batteries every year. That’s about 180,000 tons of batteries, of which 86,000 tons are single use alkaline batteries.
What can we do to reduce this waste?
Absorption in air is another factor that might limit useful distance for wireless charging technologies. The energy levels of different technologies decrease by different amounts when travelling through air.
When a power beam ‘diverges’ (becomes wider), the distance of the transmitter from the receiver impacts the power capture ability. Let’s discuss the topics of ‘contained beams’ and the impact of diffraction on various power delivery methods.
In all the excitement about wireless power technology, the amount of power that a device needs to operate is sometimes forgotten.
How much power do typical devices need?