Wireless power for gaming controller and digital luggage tags

January 03, 2019 //By Nick Flaherty
Wireless power for gaming controller and digital luggage tags
Wireless power specialist Powercast is to show a Wireless Charging Grip for the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Controllers, the world’s first gaming product that charges over the air without wires, plugs or charging mats.

The grip automatically charges when within feet of Powercast’s PowerSpot radio frequency (RF) wireless power transmitter, so users never have to dock their controllers, plug into power, or stop playing due to a low battery.

Grips on the market today are simple plastic accessories that Nintendo Joy-Con game controllers snap into that make them easier to hold.  Powercast has added contactless wireless charging functionality to create intelligent grips (left, right and double-controller versions) that charge Joy-Cons and double as a backup battery pack.  

“Many of us at Powercast are Nintendo Switch gamers, and we often found that we’d let our batteries die by forgetting to dock our controllers,” said Dr Charles Greene, chief operating and technical officer of Powercast. “Realizing our technology could solve the problem, we developed a product that lets the Joy-Cons charge without docking when you walk away from a gaming session. Our vision is to enable long-range, true wireless charging where consumers simply place all their PowerSpot-enabled devices within range of a PowerSpot transmitter in their home or a public place"

Powercast’s Powerharvester receiver and a battery are embedded in the grips. The Powerharvester harnesses power sent over the air to charge the embedded battery, which then charges the batteries in the Joy-Cons until they are fully charged. The grips also act as a backup battery pack, keeping the Joy-Con batteries topped off when out of the transmitter’s range for about 38 hours of gameplay on one charge. The grips receive power when placed within about two feet of the PowerSpot transmitter, achieving a full charge between gaming sessions. An LED illuminates when the grips are charging and turns off when they’re done.

A Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connection enables intelligent wireless charging where power is only sent as needed. The grips request power from the transmitter when their batteries are low, and tell it to stop when charged. Up to 30 enabled devices in the charging zone will automatically connect

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