China is the biggest market for PowerbyProxi which has developed advanced wireless power systems.
Have you ever imagined walking into a room and have your device instantly connect to power, just like it connects to the Internet? Unfortunately, this hasn’t happened yet.
It is believed that the concept of delivering power wirelessly is the stuff of science fiction – but when Fady Mishriki and Greg Cross founded PowerbyProxi in 2007, their focus was to unplug the last cable and get rid of masses of cables under desks and in planes, trains, and cars.
“Ever since the power plug was invented, every generation has plugged in more and more devices. PowerbyProxi is looking forward to help reduce our reliance on the power cable and deliver accessible, pervasive wireless power to the world,” explains Greg Cross, Chairman and CEO at the New Zealand-based PowerbyProxi.
“With our Dynamic Harmonization Control (DHC) technology, we are delivering innovative resonant solutions, such as the Proxi-3D In-Device Charging System which will enable us to charge any type of device that has our receiver integrated into it by merely placing it within the box in any position or angle. It’s that simple and it’s our equivalent of the wifi modem,” Cross adds.
The company provides wireless power solutions for industrial markets and consumer products. Its technology stems from Wireless Power Technology (WPT) research from the University of Auckland, which is globally recognised in WPT research. In January 2014, it announced a major licensing deal with US-based Texas Instruments.
Power to unplug
PowerbyProxi designs and supplies miniaturised resonant wireless power receivers to enable wireless charging of consumer electronic devices. The current resonant solutions include the miniaturisation of wireless receivers directly into smartphones (removing the need for external cases or sleeves) AA batteries, and wearable devices.
“Our wireless charging pad solution is the first resonant charging system capable of delivering up to 7.5 watts per receiver while also providing the ability to wirelessly power multiple devices simultaneously with full spatial freedom,” says Cross. It enables wireless charging of multiple types of devices at the same speed as a wired charger. The devices can be placed in any location and orientation on the charging pad.
The Proxi-3D In-Device Charging transmitter enables recharging of many devices without having to remove batteries. Users can simply place the device in the Proxi-3D charging box or bowl transmitter and the battery will begin charging. “It can be used with any device using a standard AA battery, or low-power wearable device. Devices can be placed in any orientation or position in the transmitter,” Cross says.
There have been ongoing advancements in wireless power technology with a range of companies operating in this space such as Powermat, Mojo Mobility, Mopar etc. But PowerbyProxi has a host of patented technologies and products to give a tough fight to competitors.
Strategic investment from Samsung
In September 2013, the Korean telecommunication giant Samsung made a strategic investment of US$4 million through its investment arm, Samsung Ventures Investment Corporation (SVIC) in PowerbyProxi. This investment marked Samsung’s entry in the wireless power industry where the Korean major signed a joint-development agreement with PowerbyProxi for wireless power technology.
The company has also raised US$5 million from TE Connectivity, and Movac, a New Zealand-based VC firm in 2013. It is currently raising its Series D round of funding upwards of US$20 million.
China is the biggest market for PowerbyProxi
Asia is a very important market for PowerbyProxi due to the presence of key OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and ODMs (Original Design Manufacturer), and a massive supply-chain in the region. It plans to open a new office in the manufacturing hub of Taiwan. “The biggest market for us is China. We are just looking to find a right partner to expand into the region,” Cross adds.
The not-so-distant future of wireless charging
Wireless power will soon become a part of everyday life. According to Cross, miniaturisation of receivers to enable convenient wireless recharging will breed further advances in the development of handheld devices and wearable technologies. More important, users will be able to directly manage how power is distributed. Consider, for instance, the ability to remotely monitor and coordinate the charging of numerous devices. “Not only will power become more flexible and accessible than ever before, but consumers will be able to exercise greater control over how it is used,” he says.
The same benefits will translate into the office, where integrated wireless power and wireless data solutions, will boost operational efficiency.
He explains that vehicle transportation will also become safer with wireless harnesses removing the need for complex wiring looms. Various surfaces within the car can be converted into wireless transmitters for the charging of a range of electronic devices. The same principle is applied to transport infrastructure on a grand scale. Transmitter pads and docks, integrated into roadways, intersections and carparks, provide an economical and environmentally-optimal means to support the re-fueling and recharging of the vehicle.
But it is believed that wireless charging will become mainstream only when consumers have a unified standard for charging across different means.