ExtremeTech points our attention to WattUp, a new wireless charging technology from Energous that uses a mix of Bluetooth and RF to combine the convenience of wireless power with the security of a wireless network. The technology uses a powerful RF transmitter station and devices that want to receive power can make a connection via Bluetooth 4.0.
The company claims the technology will enable you to charge your phone from up to 20 feet (6.1 meters) away. Energous aims to license the technology to device makers and claims the hardware required on the phone side is relatively cheap.
The heart of WattUp is a hub that’s basically a powerful RF transmitter station. Devices that want to receive power from the hub announce their presence via Bluetooth 4.0. WattUp then uses that connection to direct the wireless power signal to the device. It operates in the same unlicensed spectrum as WiFi, which makes me wonder about possible interference in busy wireless environments. Assuming the connection holds, though, the WattUp signal is absorbed and converted to DC power in the phone or tablet by a receiver chip.