Phone Chargers Could Soon Become Obsolete

Emerging technologies promise to extend battery life, or actually recharge your phone while you're on the go.

Phone Chargers Could Soon Become Obsolete Photo (cc) by Randy Son Of Robert

The standard phone charger as we currently know it might not be necessary much longer.

Battery-life-extending devices, smartphone cases that can recharge phones and on-the-go chargers are among the technologies promising to make traditional chargers redundant.

Companies like Nikola Labs and Energous Corp. are developing better alternatives that can power up your phone while it’s in your pocket, CNN Money reports today.

By converting radio waves into battery-replenishing power, smartphones equipped with special receivers can literally pull energy right out of the air.

Nikola Labs shared its first such product concept last month at this year’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York.

It’s a smartphone case that can extend battery life, and TechCrunch reported at the time that Nikola Labs aims to make the concept a reality within one year.

According to the corresponding Kickstarter campaign, the case works by harvesting excess energy emitted by phones in the form of radio frequency (RF) signals associated with Wi-Fi, 4G, 3G and Bluetooth:

Our proprietary RF harvesting technology captures that wasted RF energy and converts it into DC power that can be used to power devices.

Energous demonstrated its wire-free battery-charging technology called WattUp at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, winning two “Best in Show” awards and three other honors, CNN reports.

On its website, Energous describes WattUp as a “wire-free charging system [that] delivers safe and efficient energy over the air.”

Stryde Technologies is already accepting pre-orders for its $99 Ampy Move, which the company estimates will ship this fall.

Described as “the world’s smallest wearable motion-charger,” Ampy Move can charge a phone while plugged into the wall like a traditional charger or while the phone user is on the go, according to the manufacturer’s website. It accomplishes the latter by converting the user’s movements into smartphone juice.

Would you pay close to $100 for this type of device? Let us know what you think about it — leave a comment below or on Facebook.

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More

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