This is beyond revolutionary:
LOS ANGELES — When Meredith Perry, 25, started studying astrobiology at the University of Pennsylvania, her career goal was to eventually find life on other planets. Instead, Ms. Perry accidentally stumbled upon something even more exciting: the ability to charge portable electronics, like cellphones and laptops, wirelessly using ultrasound.
To do this, Ms. Perry created a technology that can take electricity, convert it into sound and send that audio through the air over ultrasound. Then a receiver attached to a portable electronic device catches the sound and converts it back into electricity.
The technology makes it possible for a device to move freely around a room, in a pocket or purse, while constantly charging.
Ms. Perry’s company, uBeam, announced on Wednesday that it took an early prototype concept of this technology, first developed for Ms. Perry’s college innovation competition, and turned it into a fully functional prototype that the company now plans to build for consumers.
“This is the only wireless power system that allows you to be on your phone and moving around a room freely while you’re device is charging,” Ms. Perry said in an interview. “It allows for a Wi-Fi-like experience of charging; with everything else you have to be in close range of a transmitter.”
The uBeam charging stations will be thin, measuring no more than 5 millimeters thick. These transmitters could be tacked to walls like wallpaper or made into decorative art to beam electricity to devices. Smartphones and laptops could then be equipped with thin receivers able to convert audio and charge the devices.
The technology could also bring significant changes to how devices are designed: Gadgets that work with uBeam could have thinner batteries and constantly receive power. Battery technology has barely changed over the last few decades, with device makers relying on incremental improvements to battery power, in combination with more energy-efficient electronics.
“If wireless power is everywhere, then the size of your battery can shrink because it’s always charging.” Ms. Perry said. “You’ll never need a cord again, and you won’t need international charging adapters.”