Imagine a world where the batteries on your devices quietly charge all on their own. Your Bluetooth headset. A pair of hearing aids. The smartwatch on your wrist. The phone in your pocket.
At CES 2019, the dream of over-the-air wireless charging became a lot more real with WattUp, a transmitter-and-receiver technology for distance charging.
"This technology will be in a smartphone," said Steve Rizzone, the CEO of Energous, the company behind the WattUp brand that's at the forefront of the over-the-air charging space.
Although the deal's in progress, Energous won't disclose which phone maker will use it, and says that the terms of a contract mean it never will.Last year when I caught up with Energous, distance charging was still firmly in concept territory.
In 2019, the company now has real partners making real products that are either seeking or have already received FCC approval.
There's the Delight hearing aid, a Deutsche Telekom wireless charging transmitter and Vuzix Blade smart glasses, for example.
Energous has also mocked up prototypes for a smartwatch with flexible antennas woven into the band, a wireless car remote and a pair of headphones.
Consider these the stepping stones to charging your phone and even your laptop over the air.