The cost of long-distance wireless rebounded slightly at CES 2022

The cost of long distance wireless rebounded slightly at CES 2022

It's a similar story with Energous, which has announced a good range of partnerships and featured their WattUp technology many times but has not yet reached consumers. Technovator has not entered the market. Witricity pivot into electric vehicles. Powercast was one of the first companies to roll out a consumer device, a wireless charging device and a transmitter for Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers, but it costs $ 150 and has a range of just around on one leg. A deadly outcome to lead adoption is still unattainable.

Level up

GuRu, the company behind the Motorola demo, may be a few steps ahead of their peers. It uses RF lenses to send focused beams from a generating unit (Gu) to a regenerative unit (Ru). Ali Hajimiri, co - founder of GuRu and its chief scientific adviser, shows me a pair of tiny chips with built - in antennas about the size of a Lego block and says that the company has developed flexible materials that allow the technology to work there. the different types of tools. .

"We are the only company that can deliver many watts of power on multiple devices at several meters, at the same time," says Hajimiri.

I first met with GuRu at CES 2022 to see Rovi, a portable dispenser similar to a robot cleaner that moved to charge various devices, coming close enough to carry useful power. The company has improved since then. Its technology combines an integrated ASIC (application-specific integrated circuitry), an intelligent algorithm that can concentrate energy quickly and efficiently in a small space, and, crucially, a higher frequency to deliver more power at longer range.

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Most of these technologies started at a familiar 2.4-GHz frequency from Wi-Fi, which is also the frequency that makes Samsung's new device more efficient. Energous uses a 5.8-GHz frequency, while Ossia moves to 5.8-GHz with its Cota technology. Part of GuRu's secret secret is the ability to operate at 24 GHz. This jump not only means more power and longer range, it also allows for smaller transmitters and receivers. A smartphone-sized generation unit can charge an earbud over a distance of several feet.

“It’s like a magnifying glass where you can focus energy in one place, but that spot can move, and you can make several spots,” Hajimiri says.

Chicken and egg

This need for transmitters and receivers embedded in our products hinders the early adoption of wireless power over long distances. It may seem convenient, but who would spend hundreds of dollars on a power router that supports a limited range of devices or needs other redesign add - ons to work?

“I think Wi-Fi is the perfect symbol for this technology,” Hajimiri says. “In the early days, you had to buy this big, clunky PCMCIA card to plug into your laptop, and a lot of people would say, 'I would never use Wi-Fi because the cable is ethernet 100 times faster. '”

Wi-Fi has come a long way, and we are embracing the performance boost for the convenience of wireless. Power could follow the same path, and there are other benefits.

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