Powercast's Wireless Joy-Con Chargers Make Me Giddy For The Wireless Charging Future

Feature image: Techradar

I don't personally own any wireless charging products, but I always get excited when I see other peoples' gear. There's a wireless phone charging pad I keep seeing that looks like a cool magic summoning circle, and I cannot get that piece of nerdy tech into my life fast enough. But the first wireless charging device I might find in my home could be for my Switch Joy-Cons.

Shown off at CES by a company called Powercast, it's a device which plugs into your mains socket that emits an RF field (shown working from two feet in the CES demo, but with claims of an 80 feet maximum range). You then pop your Joy-Cons into a controller grip which converts that RF field into electricity, stores it in a battery, and uses it to charge your Joy-Cons as you're playing.

This is really interesting as a concept, mainly because most wireless charging products right now still need you to pop your device down onto a specific spot. You can place your phone on a mat to charge it, but you can't sit on the sofa with it charging in your hand. The fact that the first consumer-focused truly wireless option we've seen is for Switch controllers is very unexpected indeed.

We don't know how much these charging setups will cost yet, but they're aiming to release between July and September of 2019. The technology could theoretically charge as many devices as you want within its range, so it'll be interesting to see if Powercast try to charge more than just your Switch controllers in the future.

[Techradar]

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This post originally appeared on Kotaku UK, bringing you original reporting, game culture and humour from the British isles.


Comments

    You are comfortable with that much electricity in the air?

    Fuck that.

      These sort of setups only operate at max 5 watts. They use Rf and are very typical of a wifi setup. The thing we have to worry about is that there are a few companies working on this sort of tech with no actual standard in place and as such going about it in different ways. One company is using infrared which I personally would be more concerned about at higher power then radio frequency for charging.

    Wait hold up its charging without being in contact with the charge pad? I didn't realise RF charging was a thing ready for consumer products yet.

    RF charging is a fascinating and somewhat controversial topic. I’m surprised you didn’t touch on this at all in the article.

    In order to meet safety standards, these will have to be incredibly low-powered; so expect the charging to be a slow trickle.

    The tech is very exciting. If they can find a way to increase power output to the point where we can charge our phones and laptops (without cooking the humans in the room) this could well be the future.

      I agree. It is very interesting tech and seems a lot of people are concerned about the possible health issues, which is good to see people being cautious. I think to start with (at least) truely wireless charging I don't see it as a replacement for traditional charging setups. More of a trickle charger to the amount of not necessarily charging your device but providing just enough to negate any discharge while in use.

    Forget this. I built my house under High Voltage power lines so I can get all the wireless energy I could ever want. It comes with free cancer and leukemia too!

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