RF Wireless Power to Revolutionize IoT
The New AirFuel RF Standard enables Mass Adoption and Interoperability of Over-the-Air, At-a-Distance Radio Frequency Wireless Power Technology
There is exciting news on the advancement of RF wireless power transfer! AirFuel™ Alliance, a global coalition of innovative companies working together on next-generation wireless power technology and standards, announced the release of a global interoperable standard for RF wireless power transfer in January.
AirFuel RF technology creates a WiFi like experience for wireless power. AirFuel RF uses Radio Frequency waves to transfer energy wirelessly from a few centimeters up to a few meters, enabling charging and powering of multiple devices simultaneously within a three dimensional range, and delivering true freedom of movement. Of course, regulatory considerations limit the maximum power that can be transferred, and the energy received decreases with distance from the transmitter.
Given the advances in low power computing and communication technologies, and the availability of integrated circuits, it is now possible to build battery free IOT sensors for numerous applications, such as ESLs, industrial IoT devices, or temperature and humidity sensors in-home.
While it may not seem like a big deal, let’s think about the impact of the technology.
- Reducing or eliminating e-waste – it is now estimated that over 3 billion batteries every year are discarded (and we suspect most of these end up in landfills) and the volume is increasing;
- Removing the hassle and expense of replacing batteries; and
- Eliminating the expensive and time consuming process of rewiring with changing layouts at a retail store, a factory floor, or even at home.
And BTW, this technology has matured rapidly and is coming to market faster than most people realize. Energous has built tiny chips needed to build RF power transmitters. Atmosic, a partner of Energous focused on energy harvesting, has built chips that go into receivers. With reference designs available for both transmitters and receivers, product integration is well on its way.
Availability of the standard provides the foundation for multi-vendor interoperability between transmitters and receivers. This is necessary to enable large infrastructure deployment and market growth.
The dream of wireless power at-a-distance has remained stubbornly difficult to deploy at scale, leaving consumers wondering when the wireless experience of their dreams might come to life. But with the release of AirFuel RF, the future of uncoupled wireless power is looking bright – and also green!
To help support the mass adoption of RF energy harvesting, AirFuel Alliance will offer a half day workshop in June at the largest wireless power event in the world, WPTCE . Accelerating demand in the market requires standardization, and AirFuel is leading the way.
For those interested in exploring productization, an evaluation kit offered by Airfuel Alliance Board member, Energous, can be requested HERE. And to learn more about the AirFuel™ RF standard, UnWired readers can visit airfuel.org.