RCA announces WiFi-sucking battery

April 5, 2010 // 8:08 a.m.

Tags: #airpower #charger #emergency-charger #nokia #passive-charging #rca #rca-airpower #vampiric-power #wifi-battery

The technology behind Nokia's power-sucking never-charge handset concept could be closer than you think, with manufacturer RCA planning to launch a range of WiFi-powered battery packs.

Yes, you read that the right way round: a WiFi-powered battery pack. Dubbed the AirPower, at first RCA's gadgets - previewed over on LoopyGadgets - appear to be normal emergency power supplies for your portable gadgets - and that's pretty much what they are.

Where the technology gets interesting is in the power source which charges the internal battery: rather than relying on being plugged into a USB port or a wall socket, the AirPower - as the name suggests - draws power from thin air in the form of surrounding WiFi signals, which are converted to a current powerful enough to trickle charge the internal battery.

While the technology potentially means never having to plug the device in, the low power of WiFi signals means that it takes a while: RCA claims that the internal battery takes a full six hours of exposure to a strong WiFi signal in order to fully charge.

RCA's implementation of the energy-harvesting technology comes just a few months after Nokia predicted its own variant - designed for embedding directly into a mobile 'phone handset - would likely take five years to become a commercially viable product.

Although pricing information has not yet been made available, RCA is hoping to release the product in the US before the end of the year - and hopefully we'll be seeing a UK launch in the near future, too.

Are you impressed at the thought of an emergency charger which never needs plugging in, or would you need to see the technology in action - and the potential effects it may have on your WiFi signal strength - before getting excited? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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