Firmware update can turn your Wi-Fi router into a battery charger for your smartphone or tablet

Firmware update can turn your Wi-Fi router into a battery charger for your smartphone or tablet
Researchers at the University of Washington has discovered a new technology that will allow a Wi-Fi router to charge a number of devices including the Apple iPhone and Android powered handsets. Even as the router is used to power up batteries up to 28-feet away, it still can access the internet. But there is still a lot more testing required before this will be made available to the public.

The entire process only requires the router and some sensors. The sensors convert RF power sent from the router into DC power to charge the batteries. A slight change to the router's software done with a firmware update, allows it to send out the required power without interfering with its ability to connect to the internet.

The UW researchers have set up six Asus RT-AC68U in individual homes to test the technology. While the router is an older model, all it took was the aforementioned firmware update to allow it to charge a smartphone battery while still working as a router. That means that any router currently in use is a simple firmware update away from being able to power up your iPhone or Android handset. None of the homes testing the router have experienced problems with their internet service, even as the router wirelessly charges smartphone batteries. In fact, one of the testers claims that his internet speed has risen since the test started.

The school has found a partner in a start-up company willing and able to turn all of the University's hard work into a consumer product. There is a product produced by a company called Energous that sells a device that sends out RF power through the air. But unlike the technology being worked on by the University of Washington, the Energous device can not send out power and data at the same time.

Keep this information filed away in the back of your head. If it turns out that this becomes a consumer product, you're sure to hear much more about it.

source: Wired via BGR



1. pureviewuser

Posts: 501; Member since: Nov 11, 2012 why arent windows and blackberry included I know they're behind but it's not fair they're never given a fighting chance by being excluded.

2. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

Blackberry is almost dead, and Windows is coping up with Windows 10. You will have to wait and watch...

6. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

"The UW researchers have set up SIX Asus RT-AC68U in individual homes to test the technology." I think its charging me as well. No thanks!

16. Niva.

Posts: 440; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

Yeah, this is a bit disturbing if the RF power output is that strong 28 ft away from the router...

12. SuperMaoriBro

Posts: 533; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

Is this legit? It isnt April 1st but this sounds unreal. There are several companies attempting to deliver wifi like charging. Check out a product called cota, or check this video which mentions it plus some other future battery tech

13. ciprian_xro

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

windows(nokia) phones have wifi charging for a couple of years. I love how they manage to make the phones work and look but they are still in the 3rd place. for that every one compares and talks about iphone and andriod devices!

15. ILikeBubbles

Posts: 525; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

Everyone loves Nokia.. the problem is when they got bought out by Windows they practically got banned from the most popular OS on the planet...

17. waddup121 unregistered


19. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Windows actually already did this before, demoed not using the wifi router but ability to charge it in the home. Using solar.

3. anleoflippy

Posts: 596; Member since: Jan 03, 2013

God Tier.

4. kryme

Posts: 468; Member since: Oct 24, 2013

blackberry still making phone???

5. pureviewuser

Posts: 501; Member since: Nov 11, 2012

Yes I agree with you but being left out from the start doesn't help.

7. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2262; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

what is blackberry? it a phone?

10. MarinoVladimir

Posts: 41; Member since: Aug 04, 2014

No, it's a fruit.

8. Proxy.from.Deep

Posts: 26; Member since: Jan 09, 2015

And how big changes must be done on phone side ? Probably nice idea , but judging by this txt - another sci fi stuff... waiting to charge my Tesla via fm tuner :D

9. Simona unregistered

Sony already doing something similar..

11. yadu004

Posts: 72; Member since: Apr 26, 2013

Awesome Technology!!.. Any info on the rate of charging?

14. genkidama20

Posts: 52; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

All good until my grandpa walks in the room with his pacemaker and it turns him into the energizer bunny.

18. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

Hmm this could be awesome provided it doesn't harm anything else or charge anything else.

20. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

The NSA has had this technology for a long time.

21. TamHo

Posts: 10; Member since: Aug 22, 2014

Will this new technology give me a brain tumor? :-S Everybody knows the harm of electromagnetic radiation.

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