Apple hires two wireless charging engineers from controversial startup uBeam

Wireless Charging

Jonathan Bolus and Andrew Joyce, engineers who worked on wireless charging and ultrasonic technologies for the startup uBeam, are Apple’s most recent hires. The Cupertino firm has been bolstering its wireless charging team over the past two years.

News that Apple is staffing up on such experts came amid swirling rumors of wireless charging coming to the next iPhone in 2017.

As The Verge writes, uBeam’s technology, even though it works over a short distance, is marred with various technological hurdles and law of physics that experts warn will prove insurmountable and prevent commercialization.

According to the official website, uBeam’s technology utilizes a high frequency transmitter that emits inaudible ultrasonic sound through the air. The highly focused beam then targets receivers actively requesting power.

“Like a microphone, the receiver picks up the sound and converts it into usable electrical energy using our proprietary energy-harvesting technology,” explains uBeam.

When the requests stop, power delivery ceases.

Here’s uBeam founder and Chief Executive Officer, Meredith Perry, responding to criticism claiming her technology will be harmful to humans and pets.

uBeam on its part has avoided any full-fledged public demonstrations of its technology.

Apple is said to have grown its internal team of wireless charging experts over the course of the past two years to more than a dozen specialized engineers.

Earlier in the year, Bloomberg said Apple was developing a brand new long-range wireless charging technology for the iPhone and iPad. Apple’s cutting-edge solution is thought to overcome the technical barriers that uBeam is currently facing, such as loss of power over a greater distance.

Apple was assessing such technology, meaning there are no guarantees of its successful commercialization. In the past, the Cupertino filed several patents pertaining to various long-range wireless charging solutions, one of which described an iMac transmitting power to a Magic Mouse and other nearby devices.

Source: The Verge