New laser system can remotely charge your smartphone2018-02-22 14:54 by Daniela
Engineers at the University of Washington have demonstrated that it's possible to charge up your smartphone from across the room using laser beams.
A narrow, invisible beam from a laser emitter can deliver charge to a smartphone sitting across a room — and can potentially charge a smartphone as quickly as a standard USB cable. To accomplish this, the team mounted a thin power cell to the back of a smartphone, which charges the smartphone using power from the laser. In addition, the team custom-designed safety features — including a metal, flat-plate heatsink on the smartphone to dissipate excess heat from the laser, as well as a reflector-based mechanism to shut off the laser if a person tries to move in the charging beam's path.
"The beam delivers charge as quickly as plugging in your smartphone to a USB port," co-lead author Elyas Bayati, a UW doctoral student in electrical engineering, said today in a news release. "But instead of plugging your phone in, you simply place it on a table."
"Safety was our focus in designing this system," said co-author Shyam Gollakota, an associate professor in the UW's Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. "We have designed, constructed and tested this laser-based charging system with a rapid-response safety mechanism, which ensures that the laser emitter will terminate the charging beam before a person comes into the path of the laser."
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