As seems to be the case each year, one or two stars show up to demonstrate new technology here at the All Things D ‘Science Fair,’ and it just so happens that a pair from the University of Pennsylvania are soaking up the limelight this go ’round. uBeam’s the company, and based on what we saw at D9, we’re guessing that you’ll be hearing an awful lot more from the duo in the coming months. The company’s mission is to provide wireless power — hardly a new concept, but it’s all sorts of refreshing to see what’s often thought of as a pipe dream get an injection of reality. The outfit is literally comprised of two people for the moment, with the prototype shown here concocted just a few weeks ago.
The goal? To get uBeam transmitters installed in as many locales as possible, and then to hit critical mass from a device standpoint. Imagine walking into a restaurant with uBeam transmitters in the ceiling, and watching your handset magically recharge as you await your appetizer. Granted, the outfit’s a long way from that — its first product will be a small charging puck that’ll connect to a bevy of USB devices. That’ll pair with an enterprise or consumer-level transmitter, a device that will ideally be situated in a ceiling. For now, things are strictly line-of-sight, but the shipping system will be able to detect a uBeam puck in the room and charge it if it’s anywhere within a 20 to 30 foot radius. We’re told that the consumer version will be suitable for piping power to just a handful of devices, whereas the enterprise build will be able to juice up an undisclosed amount more. Care to learn more? Head on past the break.
uBeam wireless power startup shows prototype at D9 (video hands-on) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 01 Jun 2011 08:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.