GiGadgets | GiGadgets | “Wi”reless charging from distance

“Wi”reless charging from distance
Wei Hui
By Wei Hui
Dec 13, 2017

​Credit: WiCharge

With the newest release of the iPhone 8 and more remarkably, the iPhone X, the era of wireless charging has officially dawned. Yet an unmissable fact still haunts and has us question the “wirelessness” of the technology. Yes, it is the surface of contact. Your smartphone has to be placed on the charging pad/stand, sometimes perfectly aligned for optimal effect. Sure you’ve got rid of the cables and wires. Yet your device still seems to be stuck with a chain unseen. Doesn’t it?

Wi-Charge is an Israeli startup that is set to wirelessly charge multiple smart devices from distance via infrared light. A transmitter mounted on the ceiling will convert electric energy to infrared light and beam it to the receiver, which captures the infrared light and subsequently transforms it to electric power for the awaiting device. It covers approximately 500 foot range and simultaneously charges multiple devices. Once your device (with a compatible receiver attached on) is within range, charging automatically starts without you even noticing it.

The product inspiration springs from the company founder, Ortal Alpert’s prior frustration of constantly having to find places to charge his phone while he was on business trips. His optical engineering experience has also helped developing this now-patented charging technology. Yet Wi-Charge’s efficacy is still untested as the products has not hit market. Questions arise from its effective reach (will longer distance diminish charging effectiveness), numbers of devices (will the presence of more charging devices affect charging effectiveness), and health matters. From what we learnt, WI-Charge beams only Class I radiation (negligible impact on human health), has received FDA approval for the infrared charging technology, which means it does not have electromagnetic radiation and is safe to use.

​Credit: YouTube

Wi-Charge currently lists three products on the website, tailored for different scenarios and beta users: Rayo for more industrial and long range power delivery, KIIK for heavier IoT applications and mid range, and Lights for home multimedia applications. The technology will likely to be implemented in commercial and public areas first in 2018. For me, I can’t wait to sit at a window seat in a coffee house, sip my cup of latte and check my phone like nobody’s business, all carefree. Wouldn’t you want that too?

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