Wireless Power Dev Kit with FCC-Approved Transmitter Charges Devices up to 80 feet

Powercast Corporation has launched a development kit that enables manufacturers of smart, connected devices to easily add wireless power charging options 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 antennas, two BLE radio boards, and a first generation of a new 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:

  1. Allow hermetically-sealed, washable wearables like heated jackets and illuminated safety vests to recharge while hanging in a closet,
  2. 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, and
  3. Eliminate the need for battery replacement in access control smart cards.

The new, smaller PowerSpot transmitter is a first-generation subassembly, intended for manufacturers to embed in their products so they become sources of wireless power themselves. With this they will be able to automatically charge multiple devices around them. Consider 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.

In Powercast’s patented wireless power technology, the transmitter sends RF energy to the Powerharvester embedded in a device, which converts it to DC (with up to 75% efficiency) to directly power that device or recharge its batteries. Operating across a wide RF power (as low as -17 dBm) and frequency (10 MHz to 6 GHz) range, Powercast’s PCC110 Powerharvester chip maintains high conversion efficiency amid changing parameters like distance and state of battery charge. The technology is designed and tested to meet both U.S. and global standards for user safety and device interference.

The kit, configured for out-of-the-box operation, includes iOS and Android Apps. Attaching BLE radio boards to the wristband or credit card battery recharging boards allows developers to transmit measured charge current and battery voltage via BLE 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. For more information, click here.