Whenever my battery was about to die while I was enjoying someone’s free WiFi, I always thought “how beautiful it would be if this WiFi hotspot could transfer the battery juice like it transfers data!”.
I can bet I’m not alone. Charging your phone using your friend’s phone wirelessly is something you might have thought also.
And recently when I stumbled upon a patent by Sony, I felt as if God heard my prayers and assigned the job to the trio of James Richard, True Xiong, and Charles McCoy, the inventors from Sony, to fulfill my wish.
The patent application US 20170064283 that get published Friday last week, discloses a method for wireless transferring power and data between two consumer electronics – smartphones, refrigerator, TV, computer, washing machine, microwave oven, etc.
The devices are going to house an antenna system with at least two antenna – one for wireless electricity transfer and one for data transfer. This system of antennas is famously known as NFC – a popular feature of our smartphones.
The patent application mentions searching for an antenna for wireless electricity transfer in the same manner as it is for searching a Wifi hotspot.
Further, in case, like WiFi hotspot, if you find multiple devices capable of transferring electricity wirelessly, you will have a say to choose which among those you want to get data from and which among those you want to receive power wirelessly.
Thus, if you find multiple devices where one is plugged into a socket and one having high WiFi signal strength among other, you can select them.
Yeah, one more thing, one paragraph of the description mentions preventing a device from supplying electricity wirelessly if it is on battery power. Thus, a device should be connected to a wall socket or may have considerable battery left to send electricity wirelessly.
Even though it is not mentioned in the patent; but what if Sony launches a power bank with NFC antennas capable of transferring battery juice wirelessly? Cool!
Also, as NFC works in short range; you may have to stay near a wireless hotspot for wireless charging. Sony’s smartphones now more work like a wireless charging station.
Another interesting insight I found is that this is a Continuation-in-part of a patent application which Sony filed on May 29, 2014. Now you may be wondering how that’s interesting. Let me explain:
A continuation-in-part is a kind of “add-on” to an existing patent application. You disclose your invention in a parent patent application. You then do further research and add new discoveries in a parent application.
This, thus, means that Sony first disclosed the wireless transfer of electricity between portable devices like our smartphone way back in 2014. And they might have come up with the idea even before that.
Besides other futuristic things that Sony is working on, here’s what they have planned for the VR: Tactile gloves and pads, read more about it here – Future Playstation VR will completely change the way we play games