Three years running, I've visited Energous at CES to be pitched on its wireless vision for the future of charging. This time, things are a little different. It's not announcing a manufacturing milestone or touting independent verification of its WattUp charging tech. Instead, it's actually launching some products.
If you've never heard of Energous, it's a startup that uses RF to charge devices at a distance. There are a few different types of transmitters, but the basic tech involves a WattUp charging station sending out RF waves in a focused beam toward a compatible device. A chip in the gadget then converts the waves into direct-current electricity. This "rectification" process isn't new, but Energous' claim is it's able to do it efficiently enough to make sense for charging small devices like wearables and phones.
In the long run, Energous will offer wireless charging at 15 feet. For the first batch of products, though, it's the less-impressive microsolution -- capable of charging at a distance of just a few inches. It's basically a replacement to the wireless charging you'll find on existing wearables, but with a few benefits.