Technology keeps progressing every day at an increasingly rapid pace, there’s no question about that. Once we invented the first smartphonem they kept increasing in number to the point where we have a few designs coming out every month these days.
It hasn’t been that long since we’re invented charging pads, but now researchers at the University of Washington are already working on getting WiFi signals to charge our phone batteries without any accessories, hardware or cable wires that often twist and get tangled at the slightest of movements.
In fact, the report published in the journal The Christian Science Monitor, reveals that the researchers started working on the project in hope of taking advantage of the WiFi infrastructure and repurpose it for power delivery in order to eliminate small nuisances such as plugging in wires. They’ve always envisioned merging the two (2) systems into a single one (1).
Their other source of inspiration was Nikola Tesla, the famous Serbian-American inventor, physicist, and electrical engineer, who wanted to eliminate wires for both power and communication.
The Washington University team is calling the project ‘power over WiFi’. The technology will allow users to charge their devices through the air, by keeping their phones as far as almost thirty (30) feet away from the router. Not only that, but it will not affect the quality of your internet connection at all.
The technology works by simply using a custom-built sensor in order to detect the router, which the researchers refer to as access point. Vamsi Talla, one of the researchers working on the project, gave a statement informing that what researchers are trying to do is use the sensors to first harvest RF (radio frequency) power that the routers already transmit, then convert it into DC (direct current) power.
The expert added that “The second piece, the access point, there we actually developed a custom solution on it, just a software modification that would enable the access point to act both as a good power delivery source and, simultaneously, also as a good Wi-Fi router”.
Unfortunately there is a limit to how much output a single router can manage at a given time. But the good news is that the researcher team has found a way around it. The experts came up with a software that gets the routers to send out power signals only when user traffic does not go over a certain level. This assures that both functions, charging and connection to the internet, run along side each other uninterrupted.
Bryce Kellogg, another of the researchers behind the project, gave a statement telling Wired that if the experts wanted to blast as much power as they possibly could, that would definitely kill the WiFi because power could be found on the channel all the time.
He goes on to explain that the team has optimized the router not to have continuous power on one of the Wi-Fi channels, but instead split in three (3) and distribute among the non-overlapping Wi-Fi channels. It is a solution that has allowed them to deliver pretty much the same amount of power without impacting any one channel too much.
The researchers have already used a camera in order to test the technology at 17 feet, temperature sensors camera in order to test the technology at 20 feet, and rechargeable batteries camera in order to test the technology at 28 feet.
Image Source: crowdsupport.telstra.com.au