Future Vivo phone could feature the Holy Grail of wireless charging



Sure, wireless charging is convenient since it eliminates the need for a cord to be plugged into a phone, and then plugging that cord into an outlet. But the Holy Grail for wireless charging is a system that would send signals to a phone over the air. The battery would start charging once the person carrying the device enters into a specified area where the signals are in range of the handset. Back in 2017, we told you that Disney is working on something like that, as is a company called Energous.

Energous, which is a start-up based in San Jose, claims that its technology can wirelessly charge a phone within 15-feet of the transmitter at a rate up to 20W. Last week, the company announced that it has entered into a collaboration with Vivo to "explore the use of our WattUp wireless charging 2.0 technology." This system uses radio frequency (RF) to replenish the batteries running a variety of devices. The company licenses its WattUp technology, which has a small footprint, to manufacturers for integration with their products. The WattUp system would require that a transmitter be plugged into an outlet, but would do away with the charging pads that are necessary for wireless charging today.


Back in January, Vivo showed off the Apex 2019 concept phone, which has absolutely no ports at all. A magnetic wireless charging system is used to replenish the phone's battery. With future handsets possibly offering no ports to plug in a charger, we could see WattUp integrated in a number of handsets in the future. While it would appear that working closely with Energous will give Vivo a head start over the competition, back in 2016 there was talk about Apple working with the company to develop the technology for the iPhone. It is unclear whether Energous and Apple ever worked together, and if so, whether the partnership is still active today.

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