Battery charges itself from wifi signal

This is extremely interesting. It’s technology that uses a wifi signal to produce electricity. There are two places they are planning to use it so far: 1) a USB charger and 2) built into a battery itself. I assume the plan for the latter is to license it to manufacturers, but I’m interested in the former as well. Carry it around in your bag/pocket, anywhere it picks up a wifi signal it starts replenishing itself, when you’re phone/camera/whatever starts to run low, plug it in and charge it up. If they produce an iphone adapter, and succeed in getting this to market for $40, they’ll make a fortune.


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    RT @malcolmgroves: Battery charges itself from wifi signal [link to post]

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  • I’m calling BS on this product right now.

    Your average router only broadcasts about a 71 milli-watt signal. If you REALLY push the hardware with a custom firware, you can maybe get a quarter watt of power AT the antenna.

    Toss in that whole inverse square relationship and the power that is available is meaningless in relation to the charging needs of any battery (it likely wouldn’t even make it past the resistance of the charging circuitry).

    The fact is that tv and cell signals provide more power. Heck, the RF bleed from a microwave can over power a wireless network with static.

    Nope, I am calling this just plain BS – definitely in the whole free energy/perpetual motion catagory.

  • Interesting idea in theory, but check out the comments below the post, where a few people work out the math involved. This is unlikely to add any significant amount of battery life to even a phone, much less a larger device like a laptop.

  • Call me skeptical – but in reality this is merely a glorified battery that recharges the attached device – blackberry in the demo.

    Do the maths on how much power an average wifi hotspot radiates (<1 Watt), and how much of that this antenna-less device can capture.

    Sorry to burst your bubble 🙁 🙁

  • Don’t worry guys, you haven’t burst my bubble. It’s still in one piece 🙂

    The things that make me hopeful this may be more than an early April Fools joke is:

    – A few of the articles on this hint at the fact they’ve been able to make big steps forward in the efficiency of the harvesting.

    – I assume they’ll be harvesting from multiple hotspots at once

    – RCA, while not exactly a hotbed of innovation, seem to have too much to lose by pulling a stunt like this.

    The question they weren’t asked (and the key question I think) is how long the internal battery takes to charge from flat. The blackberry they mention charged in 90 minutes, but that’s being charged from the internal battery of this thing, not the power coming from the harvester. With multiple hotspots could you trickle-charge the internal battery in a day? A week? A month? That’ll determine how viable this is.

  • I still posit that if this device had ANY basis in reality it would be better suited harvesting energy from cellphones and radio/tv broadcasts.

    Still, if you have to stand 5 feet away from a router with a 100% efficient device and 0% battery loss to take 35 years to charge your cell phone – maybe it would just be easier to plug into a usb port and do it in an hour or so.

  • Errr, sure. I think most people would agree that if it takes 35 years to charge, it might struggle in the market.

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