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.
"As a society, we rely so heavily on our smartphones every day, and their draining batteries are a constant pain point for consumers. Vivo is looking for WattUp to provide a solution that alleviates the battery anxiety problem that exists today, as it offers a variety of benefits over first-generation technologies, while giving consumers much greater utility with their devices."-Stephen R. Rizzone, president and CEO, Energous Corporation
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.