A Recap of UnWired Day at Wireless Power Week 2022
Trish Thomas, Global Head of Marketing, AirFuel Alliance
UnWired, a global multi-media platform that aggregates content across the wireless power industry (www.unwired.media), was honored to organize UnWired Day at Wireless Power Week 2022. WPW2022 is the largest event in the world for wireless power research, covering a wide range of topics related to wireless power technologies across the electromagnetic spectrum. Learn more about this annual event at www.wpw2022.org.
UnWired Day provided industry leaders with an opportunity to showcase leading-edge wireless power technology and applications in-market. Held on Friday, July 8th, the agenda consisted of demos, use case presentations, live products and prototypes, and showcasing advances in wireless charging. The day was open to innovators across all wireless charging technologies from Inductive to Resonant to RF and newly emerging technologies.
UnWired Day kicked off with an opening panel discussion watched by all conference attendees: “Startups and Emerging Technologies in the Wireless Power Industry.” The panel was moderated by Sanjay Gupta, President and Chairman of AirFuel Alliance, and panelists included Juan Manuel Arteaga Sáenz of Bumblebee, Igor Spinella CEO of Eggtronic, Stephen Ellwood from Panthronics, and Yuji Tanabe Co-Founder of Aeterlink.
Key takeaways from the panelists’ conversation and audience Q&A were:
- The wireless power industry is currently experiencing incredible momentum;
- Improvements to first-generation technologies, emerging new technological advances, and innovative applications are changing the feasibility, cost, and appeal of wirelessly powered or charging products;
- New technologies, components, and products are rapidly evolving to meet the needs of diverse consumers, global markets, and industrial applications.
Morning presentations and demonstration sessions led off with Ryo Iwasa, Co-Founder of Aeterlink. Ryo introduced AirPlug®, Aeterlink’s proprietary long-range wireless power technology, and shared the backstory on building Aeterlink’s business and their penetration and creation of new markets.
Next up was Stephen Ellwood, the VP of Engineering at Panthronics, a company focused on NFC standard product solutions. Stephen shared how the NFC Forum, driven by market forces, has standardized NFC Wireless charging to ensure interoperability. He also gave a preview of exciting innovations and announcements coming from Panthronics including their first bespoke monolithic WLC listener device capable of receiving 1W of power – with a tiny footprint suitable for smartwatches, styluses, and similar applications.
The final morning presenter was Thomas Meyer, CEO at Unplugged, a wireless power company focused on underwater applications. Thomas shared exciting images, video, and technical specs for the application of wireless power 3,000+ meters below the surface of the sea. By wirelessly charging automated underwater drones and freeing them from penetration points and human intervention, UnPlugged is changing the game for oil and gas companies and undersea exploration.
The afternoon session started with a presentation by Igor Spinella, the Founder and CEO of Eggtronic, a global leader in the fields of power electronics and wireless power. Igor highlighted Eggtronic’s vanguard technologies and inventions, which have been recognized with over 300 international patents, and shared information about E2WattⓇ and EDENⓇ capacitive wireless power transfer technologies and the factors that determine which solution is right for a range of applications.
Gordon Bell, Vice President of Marketing at Energous, a leading developer of radio frequency (RF) based charging technology for wireless power networks, was up next. Gordon explored how wireless power networks can enable consistent wireless power transmission across any distance for a wide range of applications and IoT devices. He showcased Energous’ WattUp® wireless charging technology and prime applications for its deployment in-market.
Closing out the day’s presentations was Morris Kesler, the CTO of WiTricity, where he leads research and development activities in wireless power technology. Morris discussed how WiTricity is bringing wireless charging to vehicles around the world, detailing how the technology works and demonstrating real-world benefits that are accelerating the adoption of EVs by simplifying and streamlining the charging experience.
A snapshot of WiGL was highlighted. WiGL is advancing technology that turns AC power into a wireless power grid that targets and powers a wide range of devices such as laptops, phones, TVs, security systems, drones, and more. WiGL is hardware agnostic, partnering with other companies to deploy their touchless wireless power technology in products going to market. The company will soon be releasing the first-ever ad hoc meshed network for wireless power.
UnWired Day closed with a panel discussion on the Future of Wireless Power. Moderated by Sanjay Gupta of AirFuel Alliance, panelists included: Paul Wiener of GaN Systems, Dinesh Kithany from WAWT, Gordon Bell from Energous, and Morris Kesler from WiTricity.
The panel discussion yielded a lively conversation about where wireless power is going and what is required to drive mass adoption and overcome challenges to product development. Key discussion points included:
- Fueled by broad adoption of first-generation Qi, fresh innovation in the next generation of wireless power through NFC, Resonant, RF, Capacitive and other emerging technologies is helping achieve the dream of a world without wires;
- Powerful research, semiconductor advances, GaN, global standards, and improving regulatory guidance, are all important elements in the future of wireless power;
- Consumers can expect to see breakthrough developments, opportunities for innovation, and new, and better, wireless products hitting the market in the coming years.
The biggest message that emerged from UnWired Day, and Wireless Power Week as a whole, was that the future of wireless power is bright.
Clearly, the marketplace demands wireless power and wireless charging solutions that live up to expectations for power, distance, multiplicity, and ease of use. New technologies are advancing at a rapid pace, and relevant applications extend far beyond consumer electronics. IoT devices, sensors, robotics, drones, retail and warehouse applications, EVs, industrial use cases, and more are driving the wireless power industry into a new age of innovation and mass adoption.
UnWired is excited to see what’s to come! And we will be here to share news, announcements, events, and education with you.