Sharing battery power wirelessly

Sharing battery power wirelessly is real

Smartphone operating low on battery power life? Soon, you may be in a position to Sharing battery power wirelessly like swipe some battery power from your friend’s device.

Whenever my power was going to perish while I was enjoying someone’s free Wi-fi, I usually thought “how beautiful it might be if this Wi-fi hotspot could charge the battery  like it exchanges data!”.

I can guess I’m not alone. Charging your mobile phone making use of your friend’s mobile phone wirelessly is something it’s likely you have thought also.

And recently I stumbled after a patent by Sony, I experienced as God listened to my prayers and designated the work to the trio of James Richard, True Xiong, and Charles McCoy, the inventors from Sony, to satisfy my wish.

 

Sharing battery power wirelessly
Sony’s logo is seen outside the company’s headquarters in Tokyo. (Photo: Itsuo Inouye, AP)

Overview

Sony recently acquired a patent enabling two consumer devices like smartphones to share power between one another. The patent was unearthed by technology site WHAT A Future.

The technology would leverage near-field communication (NFC), found in many smartphones to talk to nearby devices or contact-less payment systems used in combination with mobile apps.

Regarding the Sony patent, NFC would be utilized to permit one device such as a smartphone to suck up electric power from another mobile.

When working with NFC on current smartphones, users either touch another device or keep it close enough to transfer data. Regarding contact-less payment system, users build relationships with a special card audience at a merchant to process a payment.

“It could be beneficial in most cases to permit consumer gadgets to wirelessly transfer and/or share electric power between several consumer gadgets,” reads an excerpt from the patent. “For instance, some embodiments allow one cellular phone|cellphone to obtain electric power from and/or use battery from another cellular phone.”

The patent would also connect with transferring data. Normally, not absolutely all patents become for-sale products, and Sony did not respond to a request for comment on its plans.

Sharing battery power wirelessly
An image from a patent owned by Sony featuring the ability to transfer power between devices like smartphones. (Photo: U.S. Patent & Trademark Office)

Patent Details and Working

The patent application US 20170064283 that get published Friday last week, discloses a method for wirelessly transferring power and data between two consumer electronics – smartphones, refrigerator, TV, computer, washing machine, microwave oven, etc.

The devices are going to house an antenna system with at least two antenna – one for wireless electricity transfer and one for data transfer. This system of antennas is famously known as NFC – a popular feature of our smartphones.

The patent application mentions searching for an antenna for wireless electricity transfer in the same manner as it is for searching a Wifi hotspot.

Further, in case, like Wifi hotspot, if you find multiple devices capable of transferring electricity wirelessly, you will have a say to choose which among those you want to get data from and which among those you want to receive power wirelessly.

Thus, if you find multiple devices where one is plugged into a socket and one having high Wifi signal strength among other, you can select them.

Sharing battery power wirelessly

Yeah, one more thing, one paragraph of the description mentions preventing a device from supplying electricity wirelessly if it is on battery power. Thus, a device should be connected to a wall socket or may have considerable battery left to send electricity wirelessly.

Even though it is not mentioned in the patent; but what if Sony launches a power bank with NFC antennas capable of transferring battery juice wirelessly? Cool!

Also, as NFC works in short range; you may have to stay near a wireless hotspot for charging your phone wirelessly. Thus, power banks with NFC antennas will be a much better choice.

Interesting Fact About Patent

Another interesting insight I found is that this is a Continuation-in-part of a patent application which Sony filed on May 29, 2014. Now you may be wondering how that’s interesting. Let me explain:

A continuation-in-part is a kind of “add-on” to an existing patent application. You disclose your invention in a parent patent application. You then do further research and add new discoveries in a parent application.

This, thus, means that Sony first disclosed the wireless transfer of electricity between portable devices like our smartphone way back in 2014. And they might have come up with the idea even before that.

Conclusion

Smartphone makers have explored with different ways to introduce wireless charging, one of the several key advancements that could renew consumer interest in buying new mobile devices. In most cases, users charge their phone by placing it on a special stand or mat instead of plugging it into an electrical outlet. That’s a feature of Samsung’s Galaxy S7, for instance.

An industry group called the Wireless Power Consortium is urging the adoption of a standard technology for wireless charging, called Qi. Last month, the group welcomed a key supporter in Apple, fueling speculation the tech giant will introduce wireless charging in the next iPhone.

A phone-to-phone feature would be great for smartphone users running low on battery life and in need of a quick charge. Let’s just hope your friends aren’t stingy with the juice.

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3 COMMENTS

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