Belkin to reportedly release two OTA wireless charging devices later this year

Imagine walking into your living room with your phone, watch, and earbuds batteries at critically low levels. As soon as you enter the room, all of those devices start charging wirelessly until they are all fully charged. Companies like Xiaomi, with its Mi Air Charge, Motorola, and even Disney have been working on OTA charging.
According to TechCrunch, it was told by an Israeli start-up with the name Wi-Charge that the company has signed a deal with charging and power-accessory firm Belkin to produce an OTA wireless charging system that would ship at least two consumer products as soon as this year.

At least two consumer-oriented products using OTA wireless charging could be released this year by Belkin

Brian Van Harlingen, Belkin’s Chief Technical Officer says, “In line with our continued commitment to deliver the best charging experience to our customers, we are excited to uncover the full potential of Wi-Charge’s unparalleled over-the-air wireless charging technology. The future of charging has been transitioning from wired to wireless for years now and we anticipate over the air wireless charging to accelerate this evolution.”

According to Wi-Charge founder and Chief Business Officer Ori Mor, “I can’t tell you exactly what Belkin is launching, which is a bummer, because it’s a center-stage consumer product. Belkin is super interesting because of several things: It is a consumer company that is super aggressive on the timeline, and they chose a perfect application.”

Mor adds, “Belkin does aftermarket accessories to charge other devices, and they do powerline products, smart home products, etc. This allows us to give them an unfair advantage for [wireless power]. I think it’s time. Everyone is waiting for wireless power.” The executive adds that “You’ll be able to see at least two consumer applications this year,” which certainly gets us looking forward to finding out just exactly what these consumer applications will be.

Wi-Charge’s wireless charging system checks off all of the boxes to be successful

Wi-Charge tells Tech Crunch that the tie-in it has with Belkin is for one specific product but there is a list of other products being developed that would be suitable for OTA wireless charging. The technology used by Wi-Charge is more focused than just covering an entire room with wireless power. Instead, the system uses an infrared beam that shoots out from a transmitter to a receiver.

Wi-Charge’s Mor states, “If you have to blanket the entire room with power, you get an environment that neither the users nor the regulators will approve. We deliver a beam directly to the receiver; 100% of the power that leaves the transmitter reaches the receiver.” This certainly might make users feel better about using the technology instead of feeling as though they have been shoved into a microwave oven like a frozen TV dinner.

On the company’s website, Wi-Charge writes about how OTA wireless charging can be deployed. “It can be your smartphone or electric toothbrush at home, a digital display at the edge of a supermarket shelf, a vibration sensor on an industrial production floor, or a smart door lock in a hotel hallway. It can be anywhere you need to power devices at a distance, over the air, safely, and without user intervention.”
This is probably the holy grail of power management for mobile device owners. Sure, extremely fast charging is exciting too, but you still have to use cables. Imagine being able to do nothing more than walk into a room to start the charging process. Now we don’t know what Belkin is bringing out but considering that it does make accessories for many of the mobile devices that PhoneArena readers love, we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

Wi-Charge says that its wireless charging system checks off all of the boxes to be successful:

  • Power-Wi-Charge delivers more usable power over distance than any other approach, enough to safely charge even a smartphone.
  • Distance-Wi-Charge powers devices at room-sized distances and beyond. Power is the same regardless of distance, unlike other technologies whose power drops as a function of the distance squared.
  • Safety-WI-Charge is certified safe for consumers in all usage scenarios. Power is delivered only to the target device and does not bathe the environment with unwanted radiation.

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