New startup guru has built a wireless charging system that transmits electricity using high-frequency radio waves. Called guru, the company has created a wireless charge that transmits power using radio waves, specifically the millimeter wave variety that underpins 5G cell networks in the US.
Guru is unveiling three prototype charging products next week. They include a Roomba-like robot that’s designed to move around a large space and charge small, smart Home-style gadgets like cameras and IoT sensors.
The Caltech initiative will beam solar power to earth using microwaves. Ceo Florian Bohn worked on a Caltech initiative to harness solar power.
Wireless power transmission is over a century old, and scientists have proven that it does indeed work. Experiments over the last few decades have made use of more sophisticated radio technology. For the tech industry, over-the-air wireless charging for consumer gadgets has been kicking around for some time.
New York-based uBeam has been trying to use ultrasonic waves for wireless power transmission. Apple also recently filed a patent for this exact technology.
Guru’s charger can identify the device that needs charging. mmwave is extremely high-frequency radio waves that allow for high precision.
Bohn’s co-founder Ali hajimiri developed the technology at Caltech. It involves controlling the direction and number of beams that get transmitted.
Smart RF lensing allows guru to send multiple beams of energy to even tiny receivers. It also allows the transmission devices to be shrunk down enough to fit on your desk or be mounted to a wall.
‘the core tech behind all of these applications is fundamentally the same thing,’ says Bohn.’lower-power short distances up to very large power over long distances,’ Bohn says.
A member of guru’s team showed off the desk system, which activates a lightbulb sitting a few feet away. When the employee put his hand in between the objects, the lightbulb turned off. Guru is stressing that the use case is not lighting but charging batteries instead.
Guru envisions a system where you can control when the charging beams are active and manually turn them off when they encounter any interference. Like all radio devices, we’re going through the same process of regulatory approval,’ Bohn says.
Guru says it’s working on making even smaller receivers for smart home gadgets. The technology is n’t built into any existing consumer electronic devices. The charging rates are right now slower than what you’d get with a modern, USB-C power brick and more in line with a slower Qi wireless charger.
Guru is in talks with manufacturers about partnerships, as well as partners in warehouse technology and retail about commercial use of its wireless power system.
Guru’s bold vision for easy, efficient, cost-effective, and cordless wireless charging becomes a reality. It’s an open question whether any company, let alone a startup, can push consumers to change a behavior that’s ingrained into how we use technology today.
Guru is envisioning a world where you can keep all manner of battery-powered gadgets all over your home or in every corner of an office, store, or warehouse. That’s because power will be flowing through the air at all times to keep everything topped up, just as Tesla theorized more than 120 years ago.