Powercast Corporation will showcase an array of consumer products featuring its radio-frequency (RF)-based long-range over-the-air wireless power technology at CES 2020, booth #42161, Sands Expo. Among these include first production units of the company’s own Wireless Charging Grip for Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Controllers, which Powercast plans to release on Amazon in Spring 2020. Partner products will include Sportcor’s embeddable smart electronics core, which powers sporting equipment such as the Kookaburra Smart Ball to deliver sports data analytics, and TAG by British Airways, in which Powercast preserves battery life so this digital tag can be reused for over 3000 flights.
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“Powercast has had an exceptionally exciting year partnering with our OEM customers to bring real wireless power solutions to the consumer market, “ said Charles Greene, Ph.D., chief operating and technical officer of Powercast, “and we’ve had a blast developing our own wirelessly rechargeable consumer product as well.”
Powercast’s Wireless Charging Grip for Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Controllers:
Developed to deliver carefree wireless charging where there’s no need to dock Joy-Con controllers, Powercast’s Wireless Charging Grip automatically recharges over the air when placed within two feet of Powercast’s FCC- and ISED-approved PowerSpot® wireless power transmitter, achieving a full charge when left overnight. Heavier gamers place their grip closer to their PowerSpot transmitter and less frequent gamers can charge from up to 2 feet away.
Powercast’s embedded Powerharvester® receiver harnesses RF energy sent over the air from the PowerSpot transmitter, converts it to direct current (DC) to charge the grip’s embedded battery, which then charges the connected Joy-Con batteries. Using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for intelligent wireless charging, the grip requests power from the transmitter only when its batteries are low, and signals it to stop when charged. A multi-color LED blinks to show charging speed and blinks green when fully charged.
Powercast plans the grip’s first release on Amazon in Spring 2020. Its companion PowerSpot transmitter is already available on Amazon. Greene noted, “Though we had hoped to ship our grip in Q3 2019, we’re excited to be back on track after some manufacturing delays to offer first production units this Spring.”
Sportcor’s embeddable smart electronics core for high-tech sports data analytics:
Designed to transform traditional into smart sporting equipment, Australia-based Sportcor’s embeddable electronics core contains movement sensors to deliver sports data analytics such as speed, distance, force, position, and spin, and Powercast’s wireless power technology to charge the battery over the air. Adopted so far by leading Australian cricket ball manufacturer Kookaburra, its new Smart Ball needs no charging port so it remains balanced and its analytics data remains accurate. During a day of sports play the battery lasts about eight hours, and is recharged wirelessly over the air by placing the ball in its cradle. While today’s solution charges one ball, Powercast plans a solution that could recharge a whole bucket of smart balls simultaneously.
ViewTag’s electronic bag tag, which British Airways rolled out in 2019:
ViewTag’s electronic bag tag, which British Airways rolled out in 2019 as TAG, allows passengers to tag their own bags to simplify their check-in experience. Passengers use an app to get boarding passes and synchronize itineraries to their tag. Powercast’s RF harvesting technology preserves the battery by keeping the tag dormant until it detects and harvests RF from nearby airport RFID equipment, at which time it will update the screen if the tag isn’t already displaying the passenger’s current itinerary. This enables the tag to be reused for over 3000 flights on a single battery, cutting down on the paper waste created by typical printed baggage tags.
Powercast will also display batteryless printed electronics products, co-developed with PPG Industries. These printable solutions will include wirelessly illuminated product packaging that showcases products on a shelf, smart identification (ID) cards, and electronic, batteryless retail price tags capable of wireless price updates: https://www.powercastco.com/PPGTeslinDemo/
Powercast’s vision is to enable far-field (up to 80 feet) over-the-air wireless charging where consumers simply place all their enabled devices within range of a PowerSpot transmitter. Up to 30 enabled devices in the charging zone will automatically connect and receive power, sharing the transmitter’s three-watt (EIRP) output. Charging range and rate depend on a device’s power consumption; power-hungry products charge best at close range, while low-power devices such as sensors can operate up to 80 feet (24 meters) away. Instructions included with devices will show their recommended charging distance and time.
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Powercast, established in 2003, is the leading provider of RF-based wireless power technologies that work in the far field (up to 80 feet) to provide power-over-distance, eliminate or reduce the need for batteries, and power or charge devices without wires and connectors. Founded with the vision of enabling untethered devices powered over the air, Powercast continues to create the most efficient, safe and highest power harvesting technology achievable while complying with the FCC and other global standards. Powercast’s IP portfolio includes 57 patents worldwide (32 in the US) and 29 patents pending. www.powercastco.com.
Note: Nintendo, Switch, and Joy-Con are registered trademarks of Nintendo.