AsianScientist (Jan. 18, 2019) – In a study published in the Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies, researchers from Japan describe a wireless charger than can be molded or even cut with scissors to fit different surfaces.
While it might seem strange to invent something just so it can be cut to pieces, the idea is to allow user to reshape the sheet to fit whatever surface upon which they wish to charge devices, said Mr. Ryo Takahashi, a master’s student who worked on the project.
“You can do more than just cut this sheet into fun or interesting shapes,” continued Takahashi. “The sheet is thin and flexible so you can mold it around curved surfaces such as bags and clothes. Our idea is anyone could transform various surfaces into wireless charging areas.”
Existing contactless power chargers use conductive coils to induce a current in corresponding coils in the device being charged. The new flexible charger has coils wired in such a way that they can still charge a device if enough of them remain intact after the sheet is cut to shape. The cuttable charger is not only much thinner than conventional contactless chargers but also has a wider usable charging area thanks to the coil design.
“Currently a 400-millimeter (15.75-inch) square sheet provides about two to five watts of power, enough for a smartphone. But I think we could get this up to tens of watts or enough for a small computer,” Takahashi said. “In just a few years, I would love to see this sheet embedded in furniture, toys, bags and clothes. I hope it makes technology more invisible.”
The article can be found at: Takahashi et al. (2018) A Cuttable Wireless Power Transfer Sheet.
Source: University of Tokyo; Photo: Kawahara Laboratory.
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