Technology that charges multiple devices simultaneously

22 Jan, 2017

A new technology that was developed by researchers of the Korean KAIST allows the simultaneous charge of multiple mobile electronic devices, in a distance of 50cm. The devices can be placed towards any direction.

In more details, the researchers developed the WPT (Wireless Power Transfer) technology, which allows the charge of mobile devices towards any directions, just like the Wi-Fi works when it comes to accessing the worldwide web. With this technology in their hands, the users can now charge their devices without having to use cables. The devices get charged automatically when it is need, as long as they are put inside a specific range.

Head of the research team was Professor Chun T. Rim, Associate Professor at Dept. of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering, KAIST, Korea. The study was published at the IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics and it is titled “Six Degrees of Freedom Mobile Inductive Power Transfer by Crossed Dipole Tx (Transmitter) and Rx (Receiver) Coils”. Kind of a big title but it probably covers up the topic pretty accurately.

Professor Rim’s team exhibited successfully the said technology on July 7th inside a lab located in the campus of KAIST. The researchers used magnetic materials of high frequencies in a dipole coil structure, for the creation of a thin, flat Tx that had the shape of a rectangle with a size of 1 m2.Professor Rim succeeded in transferring 209 watts of power wirelessly to the distance of five meters.

At this point it is worth noting that the wireless charging technology has already been applied in smartphones but it didn’t bring big benefits compared to convenient cables, as the devices still needed to be close to the wireless charger. WPT technology however, shows that this can change, as it increases the range and at the same time it is capable of charging devices that are not on a specific place the whole time.

Furthermore, we have to mention that Professor Chun T. Rim supports that the whole system is perfectly safe for people and compatible with other electronic devices.

In fact his exact words were: “Professor Rim said, "Our transmitter system is safe for humans and compatible with other electronic devices. We have solved three major issues of short charging distance, the dependence on charging directions, and plane coil structures of both Tx and Rx, which have blocked the commercialization of WPT.”

Currently, the research team and KAIST's spin-off company, TESLAS, Inc., have been conducting pilot projects to apply DCRS in various places such as cafes and offices.

This new technology will truly find many appliances mostly in more crowded places where people’s smartphones will be effortlessly charged. What remains unknown though is whether the said system will be massively produced and released on the markets or if the companies will keep it for industrial use (cafes and offices as mentioned above, are excluded). Also, it would be good for consumers to know the price as well as how convenient such a system would be concerning mostly the size.