Article featured in The New Zealand Herald November 22, 2012: NZ Herald Nov 22.pdf
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Kiwi tech firm creating a buzz in China
By Christopher Adams Email Christopher
5:30 AM Thursday Nov 22, 2012
PowerbyProxi, which develops wireless charging systems for industrial and consumer electronics applications, says its technology is attracting strong interest at a major trade show in China this week.
Speaking from the China Hi-Tech Fair, in Shenzhen, executive chairman Greg Cross said the Auckland-based company’s rechargeable battery system for devices such as remotes, cameras and video game controllers had received a lot of attention from the media and potential customers.
It even featured on television, which has an estimated audience of 1.3 billion people, Cross said. “We can’t buy that sort of exposure – it’s fantastic.”
PowerbyProxi, which uses a process called magnetic induction, says its rechargeable battery system includes the world’s smallest wireless power receivers, which are integrated directly into a device with the existing shape of AA batteries, meaning they work with any product that uses such batteries.
When a device runs low on power, it is put in the charging unit. “Keeping devices like TV remotes, cameras and video game controllers charged through their lifespan usually requires buying dozens of batteries,” said Cross. “We offer a convenient alternative with the added environmental benefit that fewer toxic materials end up in landfills.”
He said PowerbyProxi had launched technology aimed at the consumer electronics market earlier this year, including charging systems for smartphones and tablet computers.
“Some of the key manufacturers and the key customers for us are here in China.”
The company was making inroads in consumer electronics and could be commercialised in that area in the next year.
“There was a big wireless power show in Shanghai about six weeks ago and we debuted our technology in the Chinese market there and got very positive engagement in it with a number of big companies and [the Shenzhen fair] has been another fantastic opportunity to extend our reach.”
The company, founded by Cross and Fady Mishriki, was spun out of the University of Auckland five years ago.
Cross said over the past four years PowerbyProxi had focused on creating industrial applications for its technology, mostly in the North American and European markets.
“We’ve built over 50 products for some 30 customers in a wide range of industrial applications, doing things like providing mission-critical components for wind turbines.”