Thanks to uBeam, we will soon be able to charge electronics via satellite.

Christina Drill
August 08, 2014

It is a pain in the butt to keep your electronics consistently charged. I, personally, have to carry around a cord charger in case my phone goes dead. And it's inevitable that it does, because my two year old iPhone goes dead once a DAY. It is just not a fun life, being tethered to walls.

The company uBeam, which was founded by 25-year-old UPenn graduate Meredith Perry back when she was still an astrobiology major, seeks to provide an alternative to electrical outlets by using ultrasound to remotely charge electronic devices. The way it works is this: electricity is converted into sound, which is sent through the air by audio over ultrasound, creating a charging experience similar to WiFi internet. Pretty insane, right?

Perry first had the idea for wireless charging while in college. She entered an innovation competition and won with this concept. But it wasn't until this week that the company, now an official team of four, completed their fully functioning prototype that they plan to sell to consumers in the near future.

No more than a few millimeters thick, uBeam "charging stations" don't take up much space, but also don't work through walls, like WiFi can. This poses as a problem as the company begins trying to sell the product, but it doesn't seem like the team is worried about this at all. The plan is to sell directly to consumers-- to restaurants, delis, cafes, bars. "...We are going to saturate the market with uBeam transmitters,” Perry was quoted saying in theNew York Times. β€œIn addition to your local coffee shop saying it has free Wi-Fi, it will also say it has free uBeam.” Uh, where do we sign up?

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