CES: Firm to show more powerful wireless power technology

Fulton Innovation to demo wireless power tool made with Marriott for hotel guests

The concept of powering devices without wires may sound still sound awesomely sci-fi to many users. Today's near-field devices remain hampered by their short range and inefficiency.

For example, the wireless charger for the Dell Latitude Z works only when the laptop is placed in its stand. The charger is more efficient than most others available today, but still wastes about 30% of the electricity it uses.

Fulton Innovation LLC plans to show at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that improvements in the technology are on the horizon. The company today is demonstrating a mid-range wireless charger that would extend by several times the distance of devices like the Dell laptop charging stand. The Dell charger uses Fulton's eCoupled technology.

In a YouTube video released last week, Fulton powered a 12-watt light bulb using a transmitter placed 35 inches (nearly 3 feet) away, said Dave Baarman, director of advanced technologies at the Ada, Mich., firm.

In the YouTube video, Baarman acknowledged that efficiency remains a problem. The inductive coils transmitting the power to the 12-watt bulb had to take in 120 watts, he said. However, he noted that the unused power was diverted to simultaneously power a separate, connected 60-watt light bulb.

Also, metal can interfere with the power transmission.

Fulton also plans to demonstrate technology it is co-developing with ultra-wideband networking vendor Wionics Technologies and the JW Marriott hotel chain that would allow hotel guests to wirelessly recharge laptops or run movie DVDs on laptop drives in hotel rooms. The technology would recharge and run systems from up to 30 feet away.

So far, consumer devices using Fulton's eCoupled technology remain limited to the Dell Latitude Z charging stand and an Energizer rechargeable LED flashlight.

But Fulton said that the company is working with 24 partners, including Bosch, Herman Miller, Motorola, Texas Instruments and others on coming products. Office furniture and shelving maker, Leggett & Platt Inc., is developing office conference tables with eCoupled charging stands built in, while B/E Aerospace is developing airplane seat tray tables with charging stands built in.

Case-Mate wants to use eCoupled to turn their thin laptop and smartphone cases into rechargers, he added.

Eric Lai covers Windows and Linux, desktop applications, databases and business intelligence for Computerworld . Follow Eric on Twitter @ericylai or send e-mail at elai@computerworld.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags ces 2010

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Eric Lai

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?