But it is out there, and someday it might just be in a phone you own.
Energous released a statement that explained its accomplishment.
Part 18 of the FCC rules (which, incidentally, work wonders if you're having a bout of insomnia) deal with "Industrial, Scientific and Medical Equipment". While companies like Energous may be able to ideal their own systems, these are all but destined to require bulky phone cases to function as a receiver for the near future until phonemakers are enthused enough about the tech to build it into phones directly. The FCC approval does overcome the last legal hurdle to WattUp's adoption but that doesn't immediately translate to actual products using it. Energous may have missed its chance with the iPhone 8, which was initially rumored to support the technology. "We are now in a position to move our consumer electronics, IoT and smart home customers forward at an accelerated pace", Stephen R. Rizzone, president and CEO of Energous, said in a statement.
Why is the FCC involved in such a technology?
It converts electricity into radio frequencies, then beams the energy to nearby devices outfitted with a corresponding receiver. You wouldn't need to "plug" anything into the device, but because you still need to hold it in a fixed location, the degree of additional convenience it offers isn't that significant. So far it is the only technology that can do both contact-based and non-contact-based wireless charging, as well as charge multiple devices at once. However, Pi has a shorter charging distance of 1-feet, and the Energous product betters that by 2-feet. Energous has claimed the WattUp transmitter will be able to charge more than a dozen devices at once. WattUp works with multiple devices at once, Energous says. Even if the technology works as promised, there's no indication of how much it might cost - or if smartphone producers will be willing to start incorporating it into their handsets. Think of it like Wi-Fi, but for charging.