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Summary:

A press release I just received might just be the big news coming out of the forthcoming CES in Las Vegas.  Charging mobile devices without power cords has long been a dream for many of us and Fulton Innovation, a company backed by Motorola (among others) […]

A press release I just received might just be the big news coming out of the forthcoming CES in Las Vegas.  Charging mobile devices without power cords has long been a dream for many of us and Fulton Innovation, a company backed by Motorola (among others) plans to announce the eCoupled Intelligent Wireless Power technology.  It’s very scientific in principle but the bottom line is devices can be produced that draw power through proximity to the source rather than be plugged in like it’s done today.

How eCoupled Intelligent Wireless Power Works

eCoupled technology leverages inductive coupling, which works by transferring energy from one device to another through a shared magnetic field. The technology stems from the foundational work of renowned scientists Michael Faraday and Nikola Tesla.

Fulton Innovation’s intelligent inductive power technology overcomes historic limitations of inductive coupling by using resonance-seeking circuitry that dynamically seeks and optimizes power transfer under multiple, varying load conditions and spatial configurations.

Conventional inductive coupling typically requires careful "tuning" of the power supply circuit with the device being powered. Only minor variations in the physical positioning and power requirements of the inductively powered are tolerated. Any variation in either the load or the positioning of the power supply relative to the device can severely impact performance.

eCoupled technology addresses the limitations of spatial rigidity, static loads and unacceptable power losses. The eCoupled technology power supplies adapt to multiple loads and spatial configurations while maximizing energy transfer efficiencies by dynamically seeking resonance between the power supply and device at high frequencies to achieve the optimal coupling coefficient under all conditions. Energy efficiency is increased over conventional inductive coupling with power losses as low as 2 percent, making eCoupled technology comparable to hardwired connections.

eCoupled technology includes an intelligent feedback and control system, communicating with individual devices in real time, which allows the technology to determine not only power needs, but also factors such as age of a battery or device and charging lifecycles on an individual basis in order to supply the optimal amount of power to keep a device at peak efficiency.

Kevin and I will try to track these folks down at the CES in a couple of weeks and we’ll be sure to pass along what we uncover.

(Press Release)

  1. I use a sonicare toothbrush and I think it uses this technology to charge. I just place it in the included charging base. Sounds like this will require a charging dock for devices to achieve the exact position required for optimal charging.

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  2. The actual technology is not going to be all that impressive. It won’t mean you can walk around with your laptop charging from signals in the air. What it will have to be is a docking station or “plate” that the laptop will have to set on to get the close proximity needed. Efficiensy losses will result in heat production so it might be like a hotplate.

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  3. If this is a docking type solution it’s being overhyped. If I can move around the room and still charge my device (without contracting cancer or other bad things) I’ll be impressed. I want to say I’ve seen some prototype where you put your device on a mat an it charges without a connector but it didn’t seem that much better than plugging in, other than it might be universal and we could do away with 10,000 tips.

    I’m always skeptical when people invoke Tesla. Tesla had some great ideas and some stupid ones. He was a scientist, not God. Let’s hope this is based on his good ideas.

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  4. We’ve got some time lined up with the eCoupled guys, so hopefully we can get to the bottom of what exactly they’re promising :)

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  5. Guys don’t rain on their parade just yet. Strip away the verbiage and the press release says its not a mat or docking station solution. It also says that it works with multiple loads in different places. Lets see what happens at CES. My money would be on a proof of concept demo at the very best.
    The state of the art of this technology was highlighted recently by MIT who have proved mathematically that wireless power is possible. They also quoted Tesla and his work in this area.

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  6. Tesla is a bit overplayed. Tomb Raider Legends had a boss (energy-based of course) that was named after Tesla.

    I’m really hoping this is as significant as it sounds. Press releases can certainly overblow these ideas, but this one sounds like more than just a docking station. Wouldn’t that be sweet?

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  7. I sell a state of the art implantable battery for spinal cord stimulators. It is rechargeable and we charge it through the skin using inductive coupling. The patient must place the charging wand directly on their skin where the battery is implanted. we have been working on this technology for over ten years, so if this wide field or far field coupling is possible, it could really revolutionize more than just gadgets!

    Steve

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  8. This is intriguing if no dock is required. The notion of being able to charge on the fly would be as revolutionary as WiFi access.

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  9. Good luck to these guys if they deliver. We’ve been waiting on this from Splashpower for more than a year now.

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