These companies want to create truly wireless charging

These companies want to create truly wireless charging

Wireless charging like what’s in the iPhone 8 and iPhone X suffers from an embarrassing problem: It’s not truly wireless. There may be no plug involved, but the phone still must touch a charging surface that’s plugged into a wall.

(I’ve spent years calling this “cordless charging,” but the industry has yet to adopt my vocabulary.)

A handful of firms, though, are working to prove that true wireless charging is not just safe but can work. But as I saw from meeting with two such companies at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week, they face significant obstacles. Which means they probably won’t charge your phone through the air anytime soon.

Energous: underwear first

San Jose, California’s Energous (WATT) may be the first wireless-charging firm to have its technology in a consumer gadget. A “smart underwear” (no, really) firm called Skiin will include its wireless charging in its activity-tracking undergarments.

Energous vice president of marketing Gordon Bell explained that company’s WattUp receiver is much smaller than the coil-shaped receivers required by the Qi charging in Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone and other models, and doesn’t need an exposed metal surface. ”You can throw it in the wash if you want,” he said.

But the charger included with Skiin’s products will only employ Energous’s near-field charging, which in that implemtation will requiredirect contact.</span><a href=”

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