Motorola Wants to Charge Your Phone Over the Air

No wires needed

Motorola is the latest company to try to make over-the-air phone charging a reality.

On Thursday, the company announced that it’s partnering with former Caltech scientists to develop smartphones that can be powered up to 3 feet away from a charger. If successful, the effort could mean an end to the tangled mess of power cords at the bottom of your drawer. 

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“There will come a day when the charging and seamless handover from the blended platforms will make charging automatic," Charlie Goetz, CEO of wireless power company Powercast, said in an email interview. “Tomorrow's users will enjoy devices that are always charged without thinking about it—and will talk about plugging in devices while kids give them funny looks.”

Motorola is teaming with GuRu Wireless, a company founded in 2017 by Caltech scientists. GuRu claims its patented miniature modules will allow devices to be powered at long range by precision power transfer. During use, the technology continuously charges devices and reroutes power as necessary as a safety measure.

“Within three to five years, probably sooner than most people expect, over-the-air wireless power for personal electronics, Smart Home and IoT devices will be commonplace, and a standard feature in devices sold by these and other manufacturers,” Florian Bohn, CEO and co-founder of GuRu Wireless told Lifewire in an email interview before Thursday's announcement. “Semi-public or even public service coverage in places like coffee shops and airports will be expected by consumers worldwide, just as Wi-Fi connectivity is today.”

"There will come a day when the charging and seamless handover from the blended platforms will make charging automatic."

Motorola isn’t the only company trying to jump on the air-charging bandwagon. Xiaomi recently showed off a concept video for charging a phone over the air in a room. 

“Currently, Xiaomi remote charging technology is capable of 5-watt remote charging for a single device within a radius of several meters,” the company wrote in a blog post.  “Apart from that, multiple devices can also be charged at the same time (each device supports 5 watts), and even physical obstacles do not reduce the charging efficiency.”

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