Your local café may offer more than just free WiFi thanks to researchers at the University of Washington, who are developing a device to charge your phone battery through WiFi. Rather than watching your battery die, imagine that you could charge your phone or computer just by being within 28 feet of a router. Although charging stations have become available in public places, these stations are often useless if you don’t have your charger on hand.
Vamsi Talla, a researcher for the project, states, “The goal of the sensors is to harvest RF (radio frequency) power and convert it into DC power.” There is already a similar device on the market, distributed by a company called Energous; however, this device fails to provide access to WiFi. Although Energous’ device is effective in eliminating unnecessary cords (tripping hazards), the device lacks the multi-functionality that customers want. Why pay for a standard WiFi router when you can draw in business by allowing your customers to leave their chargers at home?
Constant recharging may not be good for your battery. Some batteries are not meant to be recharged every time they drop 10% and could damage the battery significantly. This damage could affect your phone’s ability to hold a charge in the long run. On the other hand, say goodbye to dead batteries.