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Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2018 13:09:34 -0500

James Urton, UW News 20 Feb 2018,
via ACM TechNews, Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) have developed a way to safely charge a smartphone wirelessly across a room using a narrow, near-infrared beam from a laser emitter. The engineers mounted a thin power cell to the back of the smartphone, and custom-designed safety features that included a metal heat sink to dissipate excess heat and a reflector-based mechanism to deactivate the laser in case someone attempts to move in the beam's path. "These features give our wireless charging system the robust safety standards needed to apply it to a variety of commercial and home settings," says UW professor Arka Majumdar. The smartphone emits high-frequency acoustic "chirps" so the emitter can detect when a user has set the phone on the charging surface. The team also notes the emitter can be tweaked to expand the charging beam's radius to up to 100 square centimeters from a distance of 12 meters.


[This innovation might have some fascinating implications on security,
reliability, and more. PGN]

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