Ultrasonic beam = wireless charging

December 10, 2013 | 14:37
Ultrasonic beam = wireless charging
Ultrasonic beam = wireless charging

The day when we don't have to plug in our consumer electronics is getting closer, claim a a new startup firm named uBeam that has developed a safe way of beaming power to your devices.


Rather than using inductive charging, which has a very short effective range and usually requires that the charger and device be in close proximity to each other, uBeam uses an ultrasonic transducer to convert power from your wall socket into inaudible sound energy. On the device side, there's a battery adapter that converts the sound energy back into power to charge your batteries. The ultrasonic frequency used is well above the range that can be heard by humans or dogs.


uBeam wants to develop wireless charging units for home and commercial use, with the idea that businesses like Starbucks could install a transducer on the ceiling of each coffee shop to provide power to gadget-happy customers who have a uBeam battery adapter.


The product idea was developed by two recent University of Pennsylvania graduates, Meredith Perry and Nora Dweck, and they demoed a proof of concept device made from off-the-shelf parts for Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at the recent D9 conference. The video linked below has more information about the technology and the plans uBeam has for making the future even more wireless.


The uBeam charge station will emit ultrasound at frequencies and amplitudes well below OSHA regulations. The uBeam system is said to meet all federal guidelines, and all components comply with CPSC regulations. Ubeam founders Meredith and Kate anticipate their current model to beam energy to up to 7 m (21 feet).

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