uBeam, a startup in wireless charging world, has successfully used ultrasound to transfer electrical power across from a transmitter to a receiver to charge the device. Ultrasound technology is most famous in the medical industry wherein it is used to take capture images created using the ultrasound. We generally refer to it as sonogram or ultrasonography. But uBeam has used the same ultrasound to charge your mobile phone or any other hand handle gadget.
Currently for any wireless charging gadget the main constrain is that the power receiving gadget should be placed on top of the transmitter at a proper alignment to receive the power efficiently. This makes the portable device non-portable. Also, there are achievements by many other who have been successful in transmitting the power to a larger distance but for that also the receiver and transmitter should be aligned and should be within the range.
Thats not the case with uBeam. Using the ultrasound technology to convert the electricity in to ultrasound which can then travel freely in the air and then can be picked up by a receiver which will then change the ultrasound to electricity. This allows the device to freely kept anywhere, on the table or in the pocket or in the purse.
As said by the owner and founder of uBeam, Meredith Perry :
“This is the only wireless power system that allows you to be on your phone and moving around a room freely while you’re device is charging. It allows for a Wi-Fi-like experience of charging; with everything else you have to be in close range of a transmitter.”
uBeam technology is based on a thin transmitter and receiver. The thickness will be not more then 5mm, almost like a sheet of wall paper. Yes, thatès correct, as it is so thin it can easily be stick to walls or back of portable gadgets. To make it more fun, the sheets can also replace an artistic wall frame which can transmit ultrasound for your mobile phone to be charged.
On the other hand, if this technology is been adapted by the world, faster, than in future will can expect phones with smaller rechargeable batteries. The reason for smaller batter is that they will be getting charged right in the pants pocket. Also, smaller battery will create extra space in the gadget so that other features and hardware can be added to the device and hence increasing the multiple-functionality.
What uBeam created and demonstrated is just a prototype. The target of uBeam is to put commercially usable products within next two years. The main focus is to create a product which can be used in smaller places like home and other for larger places like coffee shop, movie theaters, restaurants, etc.
The only drawback of the technology , which is inherited from the ultrasounds constrain, is that it cannot punch through walls. So, basically the transmitter needs to be practically kept in all the desired rooms. But , hey, if the product is affordable and allows the portability of the receiver then why not keep it in all the rooms.
uBeam is serious in getting its products to the mass and have filed 18 patents. And being backed up by some strong financer like Yahoos CEO Marissa Mayer and Andreessen Horowitz, the path of uBeam looks very promising.
(Images – NYTimes.com)