How to wirelessly recharge your iPhones and iPads – from 50ft away

As you read this, scientists – okay, let’s call them engineers to be less dramatic – are hard at work in their laboratories – okay, okay, workshops – to develop a system to power up your mobile devices without a cable and from as far as 50ft away from the power source.

Admittedly, the technology is being developed by the US Army to power their soldiers who are in combat areas and therefore may not be always able to return to base to plug in their iPhones and iPads, but hey, ask someone who is about to run out of charge on his iPhone and isn’t carrying his charger along – it is warlike situation.

Besides, it wouldn’t take long before the technology – once developed by the army – makes an appearance on the commercial retail market.

“[T]he US Army is exploring a variety of technologies and concepts. One exciting technology that opens up different concepts of powering the soldier is the wireless transfer of power. The US Army is allocating $5-$6 million to advance these technologies,” according to a press statement by the US Army.

This proposed technology will help to juice up mobile phones, notepads and other mobile devices without the need for cables and with wireless chargers, and the plan is to boost the range to more than 50 feet.

At the same time, none other than rap powerhouse Shawn ‘Jay-Z’ Carter has invested in a similar technology – this time, developed directly for commercial purposes – that powers up your mobile devices wirelessly.

Duracell and Proctor & Gamble recently announced their partnership with Jay-Z to market wireless charging systems and deploy wireless hotspots at several major locations around Manhattan.

 “Mobile devices have become essential tools in business, entertainment and managing our social lives,” said Jay-Z, who is an investor in the Duracell Powermat joint venture. “Being able to charge wirelessly is a necessary step into the future.”

The Powermat uses electromagnetic induction to charge your iPhones by simply placing them on the powermat that is deriving its power from a base elsewhere (but within the house or office, as it is range-bound).

To fully realise the wireless vision, induction-charging chips will need to come as standard with every device – just as Bluetooth is now – eliminating the need to ‘activate’ the devices.

“Someday, it’s going to be built-in everywhere you go,” Stassi Anastassov, chairman of the board of directors for Duracell Powermat told

While that’s what quite a few of us will be hoping for, a follow-on is said to be in the pipeline to support Samsung Galaxy SIII, the company says.

Here’s a video of how it works: 



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