uBeam shows off futuristic wireless charging tech in its first public demo
And it looks like it actually works
uBeam is a bit of a mystery in Silicon Valley. The wireless charging company claims to have developed a way to charge electronic devices using ultrasonic waves, for truly cord-less charging regardless of what surface your smartphone is touching. The company has been criticized for avoiding detailed discussions and demonstrations of its technology, drawing comparisons to disgraced blood-testing company Theranos.
But yesterday, uBeam showed off its wireless charging tech at the Upfront Summit in Los Angeles. The demonstration was supposed to be “off the record,” which is a strange thing to tell a crowd of people with video cameras in their pockets. As you might suspect, various video of the demo are now floating around Twitter. Here’s a solid one shot by Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff:
In the video, you can clearly see uBeam CEO Meredith Perry holding what appears to be an Android phone near some type of device and waiting momentarily before a charging symbol appears on the display. Of course, the goal is to shrink down that large box into a device consumers could purchase and keep in their homes.
As Axios points out, uBeam’s ultimate goal is to create a device resembling a small satellite dish-shaped charger, but that may be a while off. There are still a ton of other technical questions, too, as to how the company can overcome the limits of physics to create a product that works consistently as designed. Still, it’s a promising first suggestion that uBeam’s foundational concept is actually sound.