Radio waves are everywhere and they are a form of energy. A startup tries to capture that free energy and re-charge smartphones and even batteries with RF energy.
Converting Radio waves into electrical power is not a new concept. The so called rectenna was conceived by William C. Brown back in 1964. Rectennas are also widely used today. RFID tags contain a small rectenna to supply the electronics with power when close to a scanner. K3OPS, a startup founded by Xin Wei and Alexandre Despallieres developed a rectenna that is powerful enough to charge a smartphone like the Galaxy S6.
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Radio waves are everywhere this days with the abundance of mobile networks and Wi-fi hotspots. Technology that can efficiently harvest that ambient energy can dramatically change how gadgets are powered. K3OPS works on RF energy harvesting smartphone case K3-Case and also on standard battery with integrated RF harvesting technology.
The K3Ops RF energy harvesting technology can tap the energy of WiFi, 4G, Bluetooth, LTE radio waves. As miniaturization will evolve in the future RF harvesting could become the power source for wearable devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers.
K3Ops will launch the K3-Case in September. The RF energy harvesting smartphone case only works with smartphones that have a QI compliant wireless charging feature like the Galaxy S6. There will be options to configure the K3-Case via an app to optimize the frequencies the case will harvest for energy to avoid interference with other devices.
K3Ops' Xin Wei will be a speaker at the upcoming Wearable-Technologies Conference in San Francisco in July. This presentation will be one of the highlights of this conference. We learned that attendees of the K3Ops presentation will be receiving a K3-Case. It will be interesting to learn how far the K3Ops RF energy harvesting technology has been developed into a consumer ready product.
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Earlier this month a startup called Nikola Labs presented a similar solution at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference. Nikola Labs is planning a Kickstarter project for a RF energy harvesting smartphone case.