New Appliances Will Charge Your Phone in Your Pocket
Is wireless charging your fridge's next killer feature?
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Imagine a world where your smartphone battery is constantly being topped up as you move about your office, your home, or even as you go out on the town.
A small wireless charging company called Energous Corporation wants to make that dream a reality. The California-based firm is working to put its tech in just about anything that runs on electricity, including household appliances.
The company recently announced a "joint development agreement" with Chinese appliance maker Haier, which would bring Energous wireless charging tech to Haier appliances. Energous calls its wireless charging system WattUp, and unlike competing wireless charging standards like Qi, doesn't require your devices to come into physical contact with the source of electricity.
WattUp uses the same bands as WiFi to send wireless electricity up to 15 feet away from the source. Mobile devices will need to use a special WattUp antenna, which can be either attached via a case or built-in to the product, to receive the wireless electricity and charge their batteries. The system even has an app to monitor and manage devices utilizing WattUp charging.
The only question is whether these wireless charging appliances will make it to the U.S., since Haier has a relatively small presence in the American appliance market. But Energous also has nine other agreements with smartphone and WiFi router makers, so we might see the tech soon, regardless.