Nov 6, 2014

Wireless Electricity Like WiFi from Startup uBeam

ubeam wireless electricity pic

The approach was clever and novel. Take electricity as an input and through a process called ultrasonic transduction to convert it to a soundwave that can be beamed from a transmitter to a sleeve on your mobile phone that would use and ultrasound receiver to convert it back to electricity and charge your phone. Many of their innovations that allowed this to work when nobody else had solved wireless transfer at a distance (several meters) included:
  • A transmitter compact enough to be practical to hang in restaurants, coffee shops, your car, your home, etc.
  • A receiver thin enough to be a sleeve on a phone and small enough in surface area requiring the right materials (they can transmit & receive with devices thinner than 5 millimeters),
  • Precision tracking software so they can focus the sound beam to concentrate the sound wave exactly to your receiver and avoid inefficiencies of diffusion
  • Methods for identifying the size, shape & motion of devices while they are moving
  • Etc.
The goal is straightforward. uBeam intends to charge your mobile phones at amazing speeds while you are simply using your phone or setting it down anywhere. Over time, working with manufacturers, uBeam has a method that will allow the battery life to last 10x longer than today’s batteries before they degrade. They can allow manufacturers to use thinner batteries and thus further miniaturize phones.
And the truth is that Team uBeam doesn’t want to stop at phones. With the explosion of “wearables’ wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to charge your watch, fitness tracker or noise-canceling headphones?

About uBeam Founder
Meredith Perry, 25, an astrobiology student at the University of Pennsylvania goal was to find life on other planets. Instead, Ms. Perry accidentally stumbled upon something even more exciting: the ability to charge portable electronics, like cellphones and laptops, wirelessly using ultrasound.

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