WattUp remote wireless charging system developer Energous has gained approval from the United States Federal Communications Commission for its remote charging technology called the WattUp Mid Field transmitter. The wireless charging solution is designed to charge any type of device including smartphones, tablets, and smart speakers by converting electricity into radio frequencies, which will then be transmitted to devices with a compatible receiver within three feet of the small station.
The approval marks the first certification issued by the FCC for this type of wireless charging technology, though the WattUp system was already created three years ago, so the regulator’s move is expected to pave the way for a new way of wirelessly charging electronics in the future. It’s worth pointing out that while the system is meant to charge your device without the need for a physical connection and is hence superior to standard wireless chargers, it also supports contact-based charging. And it can wirelessly power up multiple devices at the same time until the battery of each device within the transmitter’s range is fully charged. It should be noted that the WattUp technology works regardless of the manufacturers of the transmitter and receiver in question. Existing wireless charging systems require users to place a device directly on top of a charger to transmit electricity from the energy source to the receiver through a process called induction. The WattUp ecosystem aims to change that and it works in a manner similar to that of a wireless charger developed based on the Qi wireless charging standard by Pi, a startup that consists of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Pi Charger, however, is capable of charging multiple devices within only one foot, which is a shorter range compared to supported by WattUp.
In mid-2016, it was reported that Energous is backed by Martin Cooper, the inventor of the cellular phone. At that time, it was reported that the FCC was still in the process of certifying the technology, as the regulator was unable to determine whether the system would interfere with existing wireless devices. It remains to be seen when the WattUp wireless charger will be commercially available, though Energous is set to showcase the technology at the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month.