A French startup has created wireless charging stickers that adhere to the backs of smartphones, tablets and drones, among other things, and can charge multiple devices at the same time on a single charging pad.
Energysquare, which was founded last year by two French entrepreneurs who had just graduated from an engineering school, launched a crowdfunding campaign today on Kickstarter hoping to raise $33,630 (€30,000) to ramp up manufacturing.
Energysquare's pad charges a mobile device enabled by its sticker technology. Credit: Energysqare
Unlike today's most popular wireless chargers, which use electromagnetic induction, or resonance, to create a field through which electricity can pass between two copper coils - a transmitter and a receiver - Energysquare's technology uses electric conduction.
The thin, adhesive sticker has a tail that plugs into the mobile device's charging/data port with either a Lightning or Micro-USB connector. and even USB-C type connectors. The sticker contains two electrodes that are linked to the device's battery.
When the device is set on the surface of Energysquare's charging pad, which is made of conductive squares inlaid into an insulating material, the two electrodes are activated as soon as they're in contact with two different squares.
"We have designed the surface and the sticker so that you can put your phone in any position, the two electrodes will still be in contact with two different squares," Energysquare CEO Thibaut Guédou said in an email to Computerworld. "Hence, the surface detects the device and energy is sent to the battery. The charge is not made through [electromagnetic] induction but directly through the contact between the sticker and the surface."
Each of the charging pad's conductive squares are controlled independently by the company's embedded system, which allows the pad to charge multiple mobile devices with varying protocols. The charging pad becomes active once two squares are connected to a mobile device with a sticker. When the device is fully charged, the pad detects it and stops charging.
The charging pad's surface will automatically detect a foreign metal object or water and will not send any energy through it without a sticker, Guédou said.
"It is therefore possible to put any object on it and to wash it with water," Guédou said. "We've developed an open source standard to be compatible with all kinds of portable devices -- drones, wireless speakers, laptops, etc."
For about $44 (€39), early bird backers can receive a SquareOne charging pad and five charging stickers of their choosing, whether for an iPhone, Android phone or tablet. Backers can also receive a SquareTwo charging pad ($66), which has a larger surface area for more devices.
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