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RF wireless power technology reduces battery use, E-waste

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Powercast’s over-the-air RF wireless power recharges batteries or replaces them altogether

September 9, 2021  EP&T Magazine

Powercast Corp., an established leader in RF wireless power, has received recognition for its efforts in sustainability, when it comes to battery re-use.

Powercast aims to make one-time-use batteries obsolete by working with electronic manufacturers to recharge batteries or replace them altogether with its over-the-air RF (radio frequency) wireless power technology. Many of today’s small electronic devices can be designed so they’re environmentally friendly, either with rechargeable batteries that can accept an RF wireless charge, or with no batteries that can be directly powered by RF power. A Powerharvester chip is embedded in devices to receive RF energy sent over the air from either a dedicated Powercast transmitter, or from industry-standard RFID readers. The Powerharvester then converts the RF to direct current (DC) to top off the battery or power the device.

Powercast’s RF Wireless Power Technology Wins Global Sustainability Award for Reducing Battery Use, E-Waste

Powercast’s technology was recently awarded by the Business Intelligence Group with its Sustainability Initiative of the Year in the 2021 Sustainability Awards program. These awards honor those people, teams and organizations who have made sustainability an integral part of their business practice or overall mission.

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Smart Packaging Now Powered Wirelessly

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Billed as the most influential tech event in the world, the annual Consumer Electronics Show is a showcase for visionary companies. Found amidst the 2,200 booths on the CES 2022 Las Vegas show floor this week is wireless power innovator Powercast. Ahead of the show, the company created a promotional video showing…

  • 3D printed wearables that monitor biomedical signals for at-home diagnosis and athletic training, developed by University of Arizona researchers; and
  • An all-in-one robotic retail price-changing system combining Powercast’s immortal battery-less electronic shelf label (ESL) and Badger Technologies‘ autonomous robots for retail.

Both of these are leading-edge cool, but what excited me most was the portion showing a wirelessly powered, illuminated packaging display that starts at the 48 second mark of the 3-minute video below. It’s a blinking logo on the box.

READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Power is in the air at CES 2022

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Power is in the air at CES 2022

 7th January 2022
 Caroline Hayes

Beginning a new year, CES 2022 has some headline grabbing and eye-catching exhibits. Caroline Hayes sought out the innovative technologies that mean power can be wireless and anywhere

There were different uses for wireless charging demonstrated by Powercast. The Pittsburgh company showed 3D wearable medical devices which use its over-the-air RF wireless power technology to conveniently charge while the wearer is able to continue everyday activities.

The monitor (Figure 1) was created by researchers at the University of Arizona. It is created using 3D printing and flexible circuits so it can be custom made for each wearer. The construction using flexible substrates means that it is comfortable to wear for hours and even days at a time, allowing wearers to gather long term data which can be analysed to assess a medical condition.

Figure 1: The 3D printed, flexible monitor developed by researchers at the University of Arizona, based on Powercast RF wireless technology

Sensors incorporated into the flexible substrate include inertial measurement units (IMUs) and strain sensors. These can characterise the gait and performance of individual muscle groups. There are also temperature sensors.

Charging is via a Powercaster wireless charger which recharges the device over the air.

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Battery Advances, Wireless Power Poised to Make Charging Less of a Problem

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Firms perfecting hydrogen fuel cells, solar shingles, harvesting energy from radio waves

a man on a rooftop installing timberline solar shingles

The way we juice up our devices, cars, even entire homes, runs the gamut, but one thing remains constant: our basic desire to charge things without having to fret about batteries that are about to peter out or wreck the environment.

For most of us, the less we think about charging or replacing batteries, the better. That’s especially true as people age.

“Your gadgets and things are there to take care of you, not you take care of your gadgets,” says Charlie Greene, chief operating and technical officer of Powercast Corp. The Pittsburgh-based “over-the-air” power company is exhibiting this week in Las Vegas at CES, formerly the Consumer Electronics Show, demonstrating how devices such as electric toothbrushes and 3D printed medical-based wearables developed by the University of Arizona can be charged wirelessly by being placed within a few feet of a transmitter.

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EE Journal – Fish Fry Podcast featuring Powercast’s Charlie Greene

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Eliminating the Battery Altogether: How Powercast is Opening New Avenues of Innovation with RF Wireless Power and RF Wireless Harvesting

In this week’s Fish Fry podcast, Charlie Green (Chief Operating & Technical Officer at Powercast) joins us to discuss how Powercast is powering new avenues of innovation with their RF energy harvesting and wireless power. We are digging into the details of some super cool new designs that utilize Powercast technologies including a 3D printable discrete wearables for at-home medical monitoring, diagnosis and athletic training, a robotic autonomous price-changing system, an over-the-air wireless charging grip for Nintendo Joy-Con Controllers, and more!

LISTEN TO THE PODCASTE HERE

CES 2022 The 30 Best and Coolest Pieces of Tech – TechTimes

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#25

Powercast

Highlighted best by their catchy slogan “the future of power,” Powercast takes charging to a new, more remote arena. Utilizing advanced radio frequency (RF) technology, the company can DC powered devices from afar. That’s right, Powercast does away with fancy mats and chargers, instead vying to make the airwaves themselves the current with high-tech transmitters and receiver chips that can automatically charge multiple devices. Powercast sees itself at the forefront of a burgeoning industry, with the momentum of wireless power reaching $25.9 billion by 2027.

Read Full Article HERE

Powercast to Showcase Wireless Power at CES – Robotics-World

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PowercastBadger400x275Powercast, which develops radio frequency (RF) wireless power technologies, has announced it will showcase an array of new batteryless products at CES 2022 that feature its RF long-range over-the-air wireless power technology. One of these applications includes an all-in-one robotic price-changing system for retailers.

The company announced a record year in customer and revenue growth driven by the demand for wireless power, which it says will reach a $25.9 billion market by 2027, as well as demand for sustainable product designs that keep disposable batteries out of landfills. Powercast said it helps partners create environmentally friendly electronic devices either with rechargeable batteries that can be recharged by RF, or with no batteries at all that can be directly powered by RF.

Read Full Article HERE:

Powercast Showcases at CES New Over-the-Air Wirelessly Powered and Batteryless Products: 3D Medical Monitoring Wearables and Robotic Autonomous Price-Changing System

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Las Vegas, NV, CES – January 3, 2022 – Powercast announced it will showcase an array of new, batteryless products that are powered by the company’s signature radio-frequency (RF)-based long-range over-the-air wireless power technology at CES 2022, booth #52908. The company also announced a record year in customer and revenue growth driven by the demand for wireless power – a market expected to reach $25.9 billion by 2027 – and demand for sustainable product designs that keep disposable batteries out of landfills. Powercast helps its partners create environmentally-friendly electronic devices either with rechargeable batteries that can be recharged by RF, or with no batteries at all that can be directly powered by RF.

Wirelessly-powered partner products displayed at CES will include: 1) 3D printed wearables that monitor biomedical signals for at-home diagnosis and athletic training, developed by University of Arizona researchers, and 2) an all-in-one robotic retail price-changing system combining Powercast’s immortal batteryless electronic shelf label (ESL) and Badger Technologies’ autonomous robots, among others.

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Powercast’s Batteryless Robotic Autonomous Price-Changing System Honored in RFID Journal LIVE! Awards

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Prototype system uses Badger Technologies® autonomous robots with RFID readers to wirelessly update
prices on Powercast’s batteryless ESLs throughout a store, creating an automatic retail price changing
system that eliminates battery replacement and reduces e-waste

Pittsburgh, PA – October 13, 2021 – Powercast, the established leader in radio frequency (RF) wireless
power, was named honored as a Finalist in the RFID Journal LIVE! Awards at the RFID Journal LIVE! Show,
held in Phoenix recently, for a prototype Robotic RFID Reader and Batteryless Immortal ESL Autonomous
Price Changing System. This all-in-one robotic price-changing system is intended to save retailers time,
money and batteries, and was developed in collaboration with Badger Technologies, a product division of
Jabil Inc. (NYSE: JBL) and leader in retail automation. The two companies aim to display the prototype
system for the first time at CES 2022.

The system is unique in several ways. Robots on the market today can search for out-of-stock items and
check prices, but do not update prices electronically in real time without requiring someone to physically
change prices on the shelf. Pairing Powercast’s batteryless electronic shelf labels (ESLs) with Badger
Technologies’ autonomous robots enables the back office to manage real-time electronic updates while
eliminating problems associated with the industry’s battery-powered ESLs, including labor-intensive
battery replacement and disposal.

How the technology works:

BEER_Shelf_News_ArticlePowercast’s ESLs do not need batteries because the company’s RF-to-direct current (DC) power
harvesting technology can harvest enough power to operate perpetually from industry-standard RFID
readers. In this system, RFID readers installed on the robots send RF power over the air as they roam by
the ESLs to Powercast’s embedded receiver chips. These chips convert the RF to usable DC power to
wirelessly update the ESL’s ePaper displays with new prices in seconds. The ePaper display continues to
display that price even when it’s not being directly powered by an RFID reader. Using Lidar to detect and
safely avoid people, the robots can travel a store 24/7 for a completely autonomous price checking and
changing system.
“There are no autonomous, batteryless systems like this on the market,” said Charles Goetz, CEO of
Powercast. “Retailers will have greater control over their pricing, will create a better experience for their
customers, and could save millions of batteries from going into landfills every year.”

Retailers experienced some of the biggest job losses during the pandemic and persistent labor shortages
continue to impact store operations. Leading retail automation solutions are ideally suited to augment
staff resources to improve shopping experiences and store profitability. “Our in-store, multipurpose
robots monitor product availability, deliver precise product location data as well as collect and share
other valuable data from the retail floor,” said William “BJ” Santiago, CEO of Badger Technologies. “The
ability to help retailers implement an energy-efficient, autonomous price-changing system takes customer
service and operational efficiency to the next level.”

jabil_badger_robot5To date, more than 500 Badger Technologies autonomous robots have been deployed throughout the
United States, Australia and New Zealand while multiple pilot deployments are currently underway.
Powercast’s technology touches millions of users across more than 15 industries, including automotive,
consumer electronics, IoT, entertainment, retail, RFID and sensors.

 

 

About Powercast
Powercast is the established leader in RF wireless power. Since its founding in 2003, Powercast has led the
industry in RF wireless power innovations and applications that meet FCC and other global standards.
Powercast’s wireless power technologies eliminate or reduce the need for wires and batteries, working at
distances up to 80 feet. With millions of units shipped, Powercast is led by a team with deep expertise in
design, engineering, and prototyping, and with extensive commercial success in both industrial and
consumer applications. With more than 100 customers and partner companies around the world,
Powercast leads the RF wireless power market with 63 early and fundamental patents worldwide and 34
patents pending.

Powercast Named 2021 Best of Sensors Award Finalist

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Powercast, the established leader in RF wireless power, today announced it has been named a 2021 “Best of Sensors” Award finalist. The company’s wirelessly-powered RFID Temperature Scanning System, which enables businesses to easily and safely monitor employees’ temperatures, was recognized for its innovation in the COVID-19 category. The Best of Sensors Awards highlight cutting-edge achievements that are moving the sensors industry forward. Category winners will be announced Thursday, September 23 at 9:30am during Sensors Converge, taking place September 21-23 in San Jose, CA, where Powercast will display its system in booth #941.

The Temperature Scanning System is comprised of a wirelessly-powered temperature-scanning fob for each employee, an RFID reader, and a TV monitor. Employees receive a fob small enough to fit onto their keychain that is personalized to them. The fob quickly charges when held near an RFID reader at the entrance to the business using Powercast’s patented power harvesting technology. In this touch-free system, employees scan their own forehead using the fob to read their temperature, and are permitted to enter or are denied entry based on the reading, which automatically appears on the monitor.

“We are honored to be a finalist in this award program, which recognizes our efforts to help bring back a sense of normalcy as COVID-19 continues to create challenges for businesses,” said Charles Greene, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technical Officer of Powercast. “Our system showcases the many benefits and future opportunities of wireless power as it helps businesses reopen and get back to normal.”

Powercast’s technology touches millions of users across 15+ industries, including automotive, consumer electronics, IoT, entertainment, retail, RFID, and sensors. The company’s collaborative approach and expertise in all aspects of product design, from vision through prototyping and commercialization, has resulted in dozens of applications and millions of units shipped.

“For over three decades, Sensors Converge has been bringing together the most exciting technological advancements and cutting-edge applications from across the industry. This year’s finalists underscore just how far-reaching the impacts of these innovations have become, especially over the past 18 months. Powercast personifies the commitment to engineering excellence and overall ingenuity we look for and we are thrilled to recognize their efforts in an extremely competitive field,” noted Charlene Soucy, Senior Director, Sensors Converge. https://www.sensorsexpo.com

About Powercast
Powercast is the established leader in RF wireless power. Since its founding in 2003, Powercast has led the industry in RF wireless power innovations and applications that meet FCC and other global standards. Powercast’s wireless power technologies eliminate or reduce the need for wires and batteries, working at distances up to 80 feet. With millions of units shipped, Powercast is led by a team with deep expertise in design, engineering, and prototyping, and with extensive commercial success in both industrial and consumer applications. With more than 100 customers and partner companies around the world, Powercast leads the RF wireless power market with 63 early and fundamental patents worldwide and 34 patents pending. For more information, visit https://www.powercastco.com.

About Sensors Converge
For 36 years Sensors Expo & Conference has brought together the design engineering community to network, share ideas, and define the future roadmap for the sensors industry. In 2021, we’re excited to curate a live, in-person experience called Sensors Converge, where the industry can come together, safely, to collaborate and conduct business. Sensors Converge is part of the Fierce Technology Group, a division of Questex, which also produces the Best of Sensors Awards, Fierce Sensors, and daily content and newsletters on Fierce Electronics at http://www.fierceelectronics.com.