Charger gets power from WiFi [please be true] [updated: man says it's not]

by Ben Smith on 23rd February 2010

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I was amazed when I saw this… it’s almost certainly too good to be true, but see the video after the break… US consumer-electronics giant RCA have created a box of tricks that sucks power out of the air driven by WiFi signals.

The cigarette-packet-sized gizmo plugs in to devices to provide a ‘free’ trickle charge, with the technology due soon built into batteries that will replace manufacturers’ originals (at about the same cost as the original).

According to OhGizmo:

on the CES floor, they were able to charge a BlackBerry from 30% to full in about 90 minutes, using nothing but ambient WiFi signals as a power source.

Now, I appreciate the power isn’t actually free… someone’s paying to power those WiFi hotspots… but given many of us spend most of our time blanketed in WiFi coverage this could be a great way to passively top-up your mobile devices as you move around. The external plug-in unit will be available this summer for around $40.

I really hope this works as promised… it certainly has a ring of ‘too good to be true and there’s a few doubters in the original post comments.

Source & Image Credit: OhGizmo!

Update: Similar to the original post a number of people are pointing out the physics doesn’t stack-up… This post from EEVblog’s David Jones says it all quite eloquently:

So… could it be true? And if not why has someone with the right to use the RCA name done this?

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