Powercast’s development kit enables connected devices to charge remotely
Powercast’s wireless power development kit has an FCC-approved transmitter, and charges devices up to 80-feet away. The long-range wireless power company has announced he P1110-Eval-01 development kit that enables manufacturers of smart, connected devices to easily design and deploy them using Powercast’s wireless power technology.
The kit includes Powercast’s FCC-approved Powercaster transmitter, battery recharging boards in typical device shapes (wristbands, smart cards), a Powerharvester evaluation board, Powerharvester receiving antennae, two Bluetooth low energy radio boards, and a first generation PowerSpot transmitter.
The Powercaster transmitter targets commercial and industrial wearables, smart cards, and sensor applications, enabling a wireless powering range of one to 80-feet, depending on the end device and application. Wireless recharging can, for example allow hermetically-sealed, washable wearables, like heated jackets and illuminated safety vests, to recharge while hanging in a closet. It can also make smart bands, used by cruise lines or theme parks, reusable and more functionally robust with display interaction or audible messages that would normally drain batteries. It can also eliminate the need for battery replacement in access control smart cards.
The PowerSpot transmitter is a first-generation sub-assembly, intended for manufacturers to embed in products so they become sources of wireless power themselves, able to automatically charge multiple devices around them. Powercast cites the examples of a coat rack that recharges smart wearables, an alarm clock that recharges mobile devices, or a small tabletop box that recharges game controllers, keyboards and mice.
A smarter, fully-featured PowerSpot intended as a standalone transmitter for recharging consumer devices is undergoing FCC testing.
Powercast’s patented wireless power technology is based on a transmitter sending RF energy (radio waves) to the Powerharvester embedded in a device, which converts it to DC (with up to 75 per cent efficiency) to directly power that device or recharge its batteries. Operating across a wide RF power (as low as -17dBm) and frequency (10MHz to 6GHz) range, the PCC110 Powerharvester chip maintains high conversion efficiency amid changing parameters like distance and state of battery charge, says Powercaster. The technology is designed and tested to meet both U.S. and global standards for user safety and device interference.
The kit includes iOS and Android apps. Attaching Bluetooth low energy radio boards to the wristband or credit card battery recharging boards allows developers to transmit measured charge current and battery voltage via Bluetooth low energy live, for cable-free monitoring. This enables testing of both configurations on recharging boards simultaneously.
Powercast’s P1110-EVB evaluation board, including two antenna configurations, is included for further hands-on development with the Powerharvester receiver.
The kit is available through distributors Mouser, Arrow, and Future Electronics.