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Vendors demo wireless charging for iPhones

Lucas Mearian | Jan. 9, 2014
Wireless consortium shows wireless charging system for more than 40 million phones.

Wireless charging company WiTricity demonstrates a new power charging device that can recharge multiple iPhone 5 units without needing a specific charging location.

WiTricity's CEO Eric Giler scoffed at WPC's claims of resonance charging.

"They're saying that [they have resonance] because of us," Giler said. "WiTricity invented resonance charging," he said.

Jeep Cherokees this year will have the option of an armrest that can wirelessly charge an enabled mobile device using the new extension to the Qi specification.

WiTricity's magnetic resonance charging also allows multiple devices to be placed on a pad. Its technology also allows voltage to pass through solid objects to charge a smartphone or other enabled device.

WiTricity's resonance charging can efficiently charge devices through solid objects that are about an inch thick, Giler said. Even while charging through a one-inch thick object, such as a table, WiTricity retains about 90% efficiency, Giler said.

While WiTricity typically builds prototypes of its chargers and power receivers, this time the company decided to go into production with its own iPhone 5 wireless sleeves and charging pads.

The company will sell the charging pad and the iPhone 5 sleeve, for $99. An additional iPhone 5 sleeve will cost $49.

"The purpose of this is not to make money, but to put the technology into people's hands," Giler said, adding that, ultimately, he expects other equipment manufacturers to produce wireless charging products using his company's specifications.

A charging device by Samsung using the Qi specification. The pad can be charged wirelessly on another charging pad, and then carried to wirelessly charge a smartphone

The Qi iPhone sleeves will sell for $10 to $20 on sites such as Amazon.com and the charging pads will sell for about $40, according to Steve Coacher, business development manager for Texas Instrument's wireless power products.

WPC member PowerbyProxi on Tuesday announced it has signed a technology licensing agreement with Texas Instruments to use its embedded processors. Texas Instruments, in turn, will leverage PowerbyProxi's resonant and closely coupled wireless power to add new products to its portfolio.

 

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