Imagine perpetual power to your cellphone, MP3 player, digital camera, pocket camcorder or other low-power portable. No more battery recharging, never again having to plug your iPhone, iPod, Flip or whatever into an AC jack. A new technology being developed by RCA, initially as an emergency power supply, may promise just that — by sucking power from Wi-Fi signals and constantly recharging the device's battery.
You read that right. RCA has discovered a way to absorb power from increasingly ubiquitous Wi-Fi signals. This may prove to be the answer to all portable power issues, forever.
The first products will be AirPower chargers, which are planned to be available by the holidays. These little pods (about the size of a flip phone) soak up residual power from any available Wi-Fi signal automatically to recharge its internal battery. Once fully charged (around five to six hours of Wi-Fi exposure), you can then recharge any low-power device via a USB connection in the same amount of time AC connections currently take. You can also use your device while AirPower charges it.
You never plug in the AirPower. Just leave it around wherever there's Wi-Fi and it takes in power without you doing anything. If you carry it around, it'll automatically suck up power as you pass through or linger in a hotspot.
How is this even possible? An RCA exec explained to me that it has something to do with regurgitating and converting the 2.4GHz Wi-Fi signal. We'll do our best to get a more comprehensive explanation in the coming days.
Pricing has yet to be determined, but the technology isn't limited to a separate charger. RCA says the AirPower can be embedded into devices to constantly recharge their internal battery. The company didn't say if they were going to pursue embedded AirPower licensing — but they just gotta, right?