Wireless charging seems to be one of those incredibly useful additions to mobile tech which has been de-prioritised by mobile and hardware development businesses. With the focus on entertainment content and smart app creation, wireless charging has been passed over, likely so that some enterprising business would take the bull by the horns, and produce something viable which the major players could then purchase or duplicate.
As luck would have it, the MotherBox is an Indiegogo project currently in development by a business called Yank Tech. Resembling a futuristic soccer ball, the product makes bold promises – including being able to charge a smart phone from 50 cm away, with the power increasing the closer you get. At 50 cm, your device will receive around 2W, and at 25 cm you can double that. The maximum output is 10W, when devices are around 3 cm – or basically on top – of the MotherBox.
As with many crowdfunding projects, the promise isn’t entirely as it may seem. For example, the MotherBox must itself be plugged into a wall socket, although it does come with a portable battery pack, which also must be charged. The battery-powered device also dramatically reduces the output of the system, but by how much remains a mystery at this stage. Also, another device, which resembles a mobile phone cover will need to be attached to your phone in order to use the MotherBox.
Most importantly, however, Yank Tech is crowdfunding its first hardware project, and is using Indigogo – meaning that the barriers to entry (having a viable product, and working examples) don’t apply. The MotherBox has never been tested, and any results are theoretical up to this point – but the company has produced some compelling documentation and imagery.
In saying that, it’s great to see a business trying to solve a crucial problem in such an elegant fashion, and it looks like we will find out about whether Yank Tech can deliver on its promises as the $25k target has already being surpassed, and expected delivery is September this year.