Microsoft’s New Prototype Can Charge a Smartphone Wirelessly Using Lasers
Wireless charging is efficient and convenient but it requires you to keep the phone on a particular surface. Microsoft wants to make your life even easier. The company has created a prototype device that can charge your device without the need of a charging dock or surface.
The technology is called AutoCharge and for now it uses Microsoft’s motion sensor, Kinect. The AutoCharge setup is placed overhead from where it constantly scans the surface of smartphone shaped objects. Once it recognises that the smartphone is in view it, sends out a beam of light on the surface of the phone. The phone surface is made of photovoltaic panel that will absorb the light to generate electricity.
To make sure that AutoCharge recognises the smartphone and assess if the device needs charge, the device is provided with a microcontroller and a LED light. The light blinks in a specific pattern to indicate the amount of charge in the device. Once the device is all juiced up the LED, blinks in a different pattern and tells AutoCharge to cease charging.
The team behind the project has agreed in their paper that this technology will take a while to reach the hands of the consumer. There aren’t many devices either which have photovoltaic films on them yet. The biggest disadvantage of wireless charging is that you need to keep it on the specific surface. A system that lets you use the device however you choose, while charging, would really help the customers. But you have to agree that the good old wired charger works great. Wireless charging has a long way to go before it matches up to the convenience like that.