Michigan's Fulton Innovation has been perfecting its eCoupled wireless power transfer technology for over 14 years, and is really pushing the boat out at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas with a number of new breakthroughs. In addition to demonstrating the first ever example of two-way wireless power transfer, the company is also showing off an interactive printed poster featuring an illustration of a DJ console that can actually be played, and a new Nokia Lumia phone that charges while it's inside a handbag.
Fulton Innovation, a founding member of the Wireless Power Consortium, was created in 2006 to further advance technology first developed by its parent company (Alticor, Inc) in 1998. The newly-improved wireless power transfer technology received its eCoupled branding in 2007. It's based on the principle of near-field resonant magnetic induction, where electricity travels via magnetic fields instead of through power cords.
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When a power supply coil and a receiving coil are positioned close to each other, a shared electromagnetic field is generated and wireless power transfer is facilitated. The eCoupled system has built-in intelligent control that constantly monitors the flow to ensure optimal efficiency and safety (it's claimed to optimize power transfer at 98 percent efficiency).
It's also capable of adapting to multiple loads, can charge or power devices requiring anything from a few milliwatts to kilowatts, will stop providing power when a full battery is detected, and can operate over short distances of up to a few inches.
During CES 2013, Fulton Innovation is demonstrating a tablet receiving a wireless battery top-up, while also simultaneously charging a Qi-enabled mobile phone placed on its back. The tablet/smartphone coupling can be placed near an interactive printed poster sporting an image of a DJ console to receive wireless power and, by tapping the speakers, mixer and turntable, users can play music from the poster itself.
The company is also showing off a recent issue of Entertainment Weekly that features advanced wireless power circuitry which enables it to light up on the shelf. There's a charging pad capable of simultaneously charging multiple Qi-compatible devices, too, that automatically identifies and adapts to the power needs of each device.
Another example of a wireless power future on display at booth #14446 in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center is a set top box and TV that power on or off when the remote is lifted from or placed on the box (the remote's super capacitor charges when placed on the box – no batteries!). There are also wireless kitchen appliances that use direct power, and home furniture that can charge any Qi-enabled device.
A mockup cockpit of a car is on display, that has its interior surfaces enabled for wireless power transfer, allowing compatible phones, tablets and media players to be placed on the dash, in the glove compartment or on the dedicated console to receive cordless charging.
Source: Fulton InnovationView gallery - 15 images