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Powercast’s PowerSpot is a far-field (up to 80-foot charging range), long-range, RF-based power-over-distance wireless charger for consumer devices that gained FCC and ISED (Canada) approval on 12/22/2017. It’s the industry’s first far-field transmitter to get the FCC and ISED nod.

The PowerSpot creates an overnight charging zone of up to 80 feet free of wires or charging mats. Enabled devices embedded with a tiny receiver chip charge over the air when in range, but don’t need direct line of sight to the PowerSpot. Powercast expects up to 30 devices left in the zone on a countertop or desktop overnight can charge by morning, sharing the transmitter’s three-watt (EIRP) power output. The system was developed within the FCC’s current regulations, and will evolve as regulations do.

Charging will vary with distance, type and power consumption of a device. Power-hungry, heavily used devices like game controllers, smart watches, fitness bands, hearing aids, ear buds, or headphones charge best up to two feet away; keyboards and mice up to six feet away; TV remotes and smart cards up to 10 feet away; and low-power devices like home automation sensors (window breakage, temperature) up to 80 feet away.

The PowerSpot uses DSSS modulation for power and ASK modulation for data, and includes an integrated 6dBi directional antenna with a 70-degree beam pattern.

PowerSpot will be a standalone charger produced by Powercast, and is also available as a subassembly that consumer goods manufacturers can integrate into their own wireless charging ecosystems. Prototypes of the standalone PowerSpot (7.3" long x 2.1" tall x 1.4" wide) will be demonstrated at CES 2018, as well as wirelessly powered game controllers, headphones, mobile phone case rechargers, smart watches, earbuds, smart clothing, illuminated retail packaging, and reconfigurable retail price tags.

Production units are expected in Q3 2018 for about $100 from distributors Arrow and Mouser. Once PowerSpot reaches mass production, Powercast projects a $50 ASP from major electronics stores or from consumer electronics manufacturers offering it as a charging option.

Powercast's RF technology is capable of charging mobile phones over the air. However, the PowerSpot targets phone and computer peripherals for now. At CES, Powercast will show mobile phone charging as a technology demo two ways: 1) phone case recharging using the PowerSpot and 2) Qi phone charging with Qi integrated into the PowerSpot. Future Powercast product releases will target direct mobile phone recharging while addressing consumer expectations like charge time, product size, and cost.

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