Japan wants to charge electronic devices through the air

Electronic devices play an increasingly important role in our lives. Smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, e-readers – many people carry several small devices with them every day and use them regularly. The annoying thing about it: All of these devices also want to be charged – many of them daily. With the introduction of charging standards like Qi, this got easier. The devices no longer all have to be connected to the power grid by cable, all you need to do is place them on a Qi charger. It would be really convenient, however, to be able to charge electronic devices completely wirelessly and even over longer distances. Appropriate solutions are being worked on. Japan is probably furthest in this regard.

Image: Aeterlink

Technology is already on the market

The Japanese startup Aeterlink has achieved a great coup: the company launched its technology in November. It can be used to transmit electricity via microwaves over a distance of up to 20 meters. To demonstrate this, the company has provided the office of a construction company with transmitters and special receivers. The transmitters sit on the ceiling and are supposed to supply smart office chairs with energy via the 920 MHz band. These chairs can then report to building management whether they are occupied – for example, more efficient control of the air conditioning would be possible.

Japanese government wants to advance wireless power transmission

The Japanese government wants to open up a new market with cordless power transmission. For this purpose, extra frequencies are to be released for transmission. Initially, this form of transmission should be implemented and permitted in buildings, but from 2024 the wireless transmission of electricity outdoors will also be legally permitted in Japan. Initially, three frequency bands will be released: In areas with people it will be 920 MHz, in inanimate areas 2.4 and 5.7 GHz.

The startup Aeterlink is one of the pioneers in this area. Founder Yuji Tanabe helped develop a cordless charger for medical implants such as pacemakers at Stanford University. Now he wants to open up the market for wireless transmission of electricity in his home country.

Also in the 5G network from 2025

In the future, according to Aeterlink, sensors in robotic hands, which are difficult to wire, will be supplied with power via wireless transmission paths. In the coming year, the company plans to market cordless power supplies for factories. Tanabe hopes to be able to supply smart contact lenses and implanted human-machine interfaces with power in the medium term.

The Japanese mobile network provider Softbank is also working on the technology. The company is currently working with Kyoto University as well as the Kanazawa Institute of Technology and the Kanazawa Institute of Technology to develop a corresponding technology that will then be installed in the transmitters of 5G cellular networks. A range of 10 meters is currently planned, but Softbank would like to gradually increase this to 100 meters. The technology is to be introduced from 2025.

via Open Network Lab

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