Wireless charger can power 40 mobile phones at once from 15 feet away

Source: Shutterstock / Max Krasnov

By now, most people have seen a wireless charger. It probably looked like a pad that charges mobile devices set directly on top of it. But a future generation of wireless chargers will be capable of providing power across a room without users ever having to set their device down or plug it in.

A team at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology recently demonstrated a new option for wireless charging: a nine-foot-long box packed with coils that can deliver power to up to 15 feet away with a magnetic field. The team debuted the system last week and in March used it to power equipment at a nuclear power plant.

DCRS is not the first approach to long-distance wireless charging. Cota, a wireless power platform set to be commercially available next year, can charge devices from nearly 30 feet away. But even at the prototype phase, DCRS can already pack a lot of power. It can charge up to 40 mobile devices at once and larger devices like TVs.

A prototype of the Dipole Coil Resonant System can power a LED television from 15 feet away. Photo courtesy of KAIST.

A prototype of the Dipole Coil Resonant System can power a LED television from 15 feet away. Photo courtesy of KAIST.

“Just like we see Wi-Fi zones everywhere today, we will eventually have many Wi-Power zones at such places as restaurants and streets that provide electric power wirelessly to electronic devices,” research team lead Chun Rim said in a release. “We will use all the devices anywhere without tangled wires attached and anytime without worrying about charging their batteries.”

The team created the DCRS prototype by improving upon existing systems that use a magnetic field to transfer power. The team said that it is more efficient, simpler and less sensitive to interference from factors like temperature and humidity. It’s much larger than a system like Cota, but it’s supposedly scalable.

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