The wireless charger that uses ultrasound to power devices

Could it be the end of wires, sockets and standard chargers? While it seems premature to bid them farewell just yet, alternative electricity transmission channels are emerging, for example induction charging. Even more promising is an approach being explored by the Californian start-up Ubeam. It uses none other than ultrasound to charge mobile phones and laptops.A transmitter that can turn electricity into acoustic vibrationsSpecifically, the prototype designed by Meredith Perry, the founder and CEO of Ubeam, comprises a transmitter that can turn electricity into acoustic vibrations (which are imperceptible). The receiver, a wire attached to the smartphone or device, plays the opposite role, reconverting the waves into electric current. At less than five millimetres thick, it has a streamlined design and is made from materials with piezoelectric properties, such as quartz or topaz, which can generate electricity when subjected to mechanical stress. “It allows for a Wi-Fi-like experience of charging; with everything else you have to be in close range of a transmitter,” Perry told the New York Times. “This is the only wireless power system that allows you to be on your phone and moving around a room freely while your device is charging.” It could lead to less powerful and more economical batteries, because they can be recharged at any time. But while the device can also charge a phone in your pocket, for the time being at least, it is impossible to charge through a wall. In the meantime, while the product’s reach is improved, it is set to be marketed by 2016.To go further
London’s red phone boxes are going green
Wireless Charging, at a Distance, Moves Forward for uBeam (New York Times)

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