Meredith Perry (left) and Nora Dweck (right) with the uBeam prototype
Engineering as it is intended. Entrepreneurs, and recent University of Pennsylvania graduates as of May 2011, Meredith Perry and Nora Dweck are currently contracting partners to manufacture their wireless power charging stations and battery adapters. The pair founded the company uBeam this year and demonstrated their proof of concept at the D9 tech conference. At which the team showed they could send 5V, 50 milliwatts, over 3 feet. The concept is ultrasonic power transfer. The idea was inspired after the team learned how sound could be used as a weapon, and the high volume of energy that can be focused in one direction. Perry stated that 25 watts could be sent over 10 feet.
The ultrasonic components are not off the shelf piezo speakers, but custom designs. The sound frequencies are far above human and animal hearing thresholds, so no constant barking dogs coming free with this product. The initial offering will be geared towards emulating 5V USB power. A consumer level and industrial charger base will give average and heavy duty use options. A possible future wireless charge option for public locations. The bases will be priced at $300 USD and the battery adapters set at $30.
No word on the overall efficiencies, scatter characteristics, or ambient sound effects on the system. The team is still in the R&D phase, but plan on a late 2011 launch.
I look forward to seeing the final product's features.