Wi-Charge Wireless Power Kit Cuts Alexa’s Cord
Wi-Charge, a Tel-Aviv-based developer of long-range wireless charging technologies, is attending this week’s CEDIA Expo in Denver to demonstrate its Wireless Power Kit, which is a wireless technology that promises to eliminate the power cord from a range of smart home devices and AV equipment including the popular wired Amazon Echo Dot or Google Home Mini smart speaker.
The company said that through its technology the transformed wire-free smart speaker can be placed almost anywhere without the need for a nearby power outlet, offering a myriad of placement applications in home theater rooms, patios and and other locations where a smart speaker is desired but no power receptacle is available.
Wi-Charge executives said the elimination of the power cord will not limit or change in any way how the device is used or performs. Instead, users gain dramatic new freedoms in device placement options.
Wi-Charge uses infrared light to power smart home devices from across the room – without cables or wires. The technology allows electronic devices to become completely mobile and without the need for batteries, because they’re receiving a constant stream of power via infrared light – no docking stations or power cables required, the company explained.
Wi-Charge said that according to its research, some 40% of consumers are still replacing smart home batteries multiple times per month, with 20% changing out batteries weekly. The technology removes that headache, the company claims.
“Previously, one needed to place the speaker near a power outlet and then route or hide the power cord. With the Wireless Power Kit, that is no longer a problem,” the company said. “There are no wires. The smart speaker can be on a table, hang on a wall, or work practically anywhere in the room.”
At the custom electronics show, Wi-Charge said it is introducing its new “Powered by Wi-Charge OEM Program,” developed to help selected partners bring wireless powered products to market. Beyond smart speakers, the company said companies could also adapt the technology for wireless speakers, home security devices, phone charging solutions and other products that were previously constrained by batteries or power cables.
“Our award-winning Wireless Power Kit demonstrates the possibilities of converting popular smart home devices into completely wireless products,” stated Yuval Boger, Wi-Charge chief marketing officer. “Our new ‘Powered by Wi-Charge’ OEM package includes, in our opinion, everything a partner needs to bring a wirelessly-powered appliance to market.”
The “Powered by Wi-Charge” OEM Program includes the following four components:
• Hardware: a wireless charger and wireless power receiver modules.
• Documentation: detailed data sheets and reference design schematics.
• Support: direct access to Wi-Charge engineers to support the partner in getting the product to market. This includes system engineering help, assistance with obtaining the required safety certifications, sharing of best practices and more.
• No-cost upgrades: the option of replacing modules with future hardware versions.
Wi-Charge said it is currently accepting a limited number of partners into the program. OEMs interested in participating can contact Wi-Charge for additional details, including costs and logistics.
The Wireless Power Kit is available as a reference implementation for manufacturers that seek to incorporate Wi-Charge long-range wireless power modules into their product line.
By Greg Tarr
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