A US outfit called WiTricity is releasing a product which it claims can wirelessly recharge electronic devices from up to several feet away. It is all a little bit Tesla-like.
According to Associated Press, it will mean that you don’t even have to take your phone out of your pocket for it to magically recharge.
It also means that anything else you happen to be running on batteries can also be recharged, including that robotic vacuum cleaner which you have been thinking about buying.
WiTricity is based in Massachusetts and its system involves a set of magnetic coils and electronics that turn wireless charging into a built-in function of smartphones and other devices.
Eric Giler, the CEO, said consumer electronics using systems from WiTricity will be in the shops later this year. The systems will be sold to OEMs and they will embed the magnetic coils in phones, laptops and other products and systems.
MediaTek are collaborating on systems for wireless charging of mobile handsets, tablet computers, game controllers and other devices.
But that is only part of the cunning plan. WiTricity is also developing technology for wireless charging of electric cars which will make them a lot more viable.
The technology has been around for a while. Many electric toothbrushes already use it. In the toothbrush, the base has a magnetic coil that generates a magnetic field. A second coil in the toothbrush captures some of that field, inducing an electric current. However the problem is that an electric toothbrush system does not have much range while WiTricity can manage a metre away from the source of electricity.