Far-field, OTA RF charger gets FCC approval for consumer devices

January 09, 2018 // By Julien Happich
Powercast announced its 3W PowerSpot transmitter is now FCC-approved and ISED-approved for far field (up to 80 feet) over-the-air (OTA) charging of multiple consumer devices. The transmitter does not require charging mats or direct line of sight. 

Creating a coverage area like Wi-Fi, a Powercast transmitter automatically charges enabled devices when within range. The transmitter uses the 915-MHz ISM band to send RF energy to a tiny Powercast receiver chip embedded in a device, which converts it to direct current (DC) to directly power or recharge that device’s batteries.

Powercast is to begin the production of its standalone PowerSpot charger and is also offering a PowerSpot subassembly that consumer goods manufacturers can integrate into their own products. The compay envisions that lamps, appliances, set-top boxes, gaming systems, computer monitors, furniture or vehicle dashboards that are readily wired to an electricity source could all become “PowerSpots” able to charge multiple enabled devices around them.

“Consumer electronics manufacturers can now confidently build our FCC-approved technology into their wireless charging ecosystems, and offer their customers convenient far-field charging where devices charge over the air from a power source without needing direct contact, like inductive charging requires, or near direct contact, like magnetic resonance requires,” said Powercast’s COO/CTO Charles Greene, Ph.D.

The PowerSpot creates an overnight charging zone of up to 80 feet free of wires or charging mats. Enabled devices charge when in range, but don’t need direct line of sight to the PowerSpot. Powercast expects up to 30 devices left in the zone on a countertop or desktop overnight can charge by morning, sharing the transmitter’s three-watt (EIRP) power output.


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