Energous Corporation, the company behind the remote wireless charging solution WattUp, has announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona that it has partnered with Vivo Global for the development of smartphones capable of recharging wirelessly and over-the-air. Energous Corporation believes that Vivo can be the key to introduce WattUp recharging technologies to the mobile market and contribute to driving the technology forward "in a significant way."
Energous Corporation has been working on the WattUp solution for many years, and it was at the end of 2017 when its remote charging technology was approved by the FCC. The company also demonstrated truly remote wireless charging at last year's Mobile World Congress, but this year in Barcelona, Energous Corporation went one step further towards commercializing its product to the masses.
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo has gained an interest in WattUp and this new partnership could lead to the development of smartphones capable of recharging their batteries wirelessly, over-the-air, without having to make physical contact with wireless charging pads.
WattUp receivers have a small enough footprint and can be integrated with a wide variety of devices, some even smaller than smartphones, and offer orientation freedom as well as 90-degree angle support. The technology uses radio frequency to recharge devices over-the-air and takes advantage of foreign object detection technologies to avoid thermal issues with metal and other materials that may interfere with the wireless recharging process.
At Mobile World Congress, Energous Corporation demonstrated two wireless charging solutions, namely the WattUp Mid Field and WatUp Near Field transmitters. As the names suggest, WattUp Mid Field is the company's solution providing remote wireless charging over-the-air. It allows compatible devices to be recharged at a distance of up to 15 feet, and the closer the device is to the transmitter, the faster it will recharge.
On the other hand, the WattUp Near Field transmitter is more similar to standard wireless charging and requires direct contact. Nevertheless, the WattUp fast charging transmitter-receiver solution delivers 20 watts of power and can be scaled higher. Energous Corporation claims that WattUp Near Field is faster than conventional wireless charging solutions, and is referring to it as Wireless Charging 2.0.
By combining both WattUp Mid Field and Near Field, OEMs such as Vivo could technically offer both remote wireless charging and faster conventional wireless charging in a single device. The video embedded below demonstrates how these technologies could work together in the real world. As yet there's no word on what Vivo smartphone series might be the first to adopt Energous Corporation's wireless charging technologies.
Vivo's latest phone was introduced last week as the V15 Pro. It doesn't use wireless charging technologies but does take advantage of a 3,700mAh battery with fast charging capabilities, and is capable of recharging up to 24-percent capacity in just 15 minutes. It should be noted that the model is not a flagship phone and instead it fits in the upper mid-range market. It's powered by the Snapdragon 675 chipset from Qualcomm coupled with 6GB or 8GB of RAM and features a notch-less 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display while boasting in-display fingerprint sensor technology.