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uBeam developing "Wi-Fi for energy" to enable wireless charging


The day when we don't have to plug in our consumer electronics is getting closer, thanks to a new startup named uBeam that has developed a safe way of beaming power to your devices.

Rather than using inductive charging, which has a very short effective range and usually requires that the charger and device be in close proximity to each other, uBeam uses an ultrasonic transducer to convert power from your wall socket into inaudible sound energy. On the device side, there's a battery adapter that converts the sound energy back into power to charge your batteries. The ultrasonic frequency used is well above the range that can be heard by humans or dogs.

uBeam wants to develop wireless charging units for home and commercial use, with the idea that businesses like Starbucks could install a transducer on the ceiling of each coffee shop to provide power to gadget-happy customers who have a uBeam battery adapter.

The product idea was developed by two recent University of Pennsylvania graduates, and they demoed a proof of concept device made from off-the-shelf parts for Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher at the D9 conference. Check out the video below for more information about the technology and the plans uBeam has for making your future even more wireless.

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