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Wireless Charging Solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT)

Omri Lachman, founder and CEO of Humavox, talks to AZoSensors about wireless charging solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT).

Can you describe Humavox and its product platform?

Humavox was founded as a company in 2010 and, until recently, has been working under the radar in stealth mode. Our mission statement, vision and our internal guidelines is to develop and deploy a way for manufacturers and product designers to get to almost instant access to and an ambition-free wireless power that, in return, can basically take away battery status or remaining battery consideration.  

Back in 2008 we started thinking about the junction point between medical and healthcare applications to wearable electronics that at that time wasn't really associated with the consumer electronics and entertainment space as it is today. We were aiming to target these markets where we felt a wireless power would have more of an impact and to solve a real problem.

You have recently announced a new platform to wirelessly charge the Internet of Things (IoT). How does this new platform work?

The whole platform is a method of using radio frequency as the source by which we wirelessly power devices or wirelessly transfer power. The platform was actually developed watching user behavior, experience and assessing the daily routine of the user in those spaces and markets we are targeting. With this in mind, we realized the users already have a certain way of being and placing there devices and that was a key guideline coming from myself as a marketing person to my partners in the research and development  departments.

During site testing, we found that users were taking the device out of their ear and placing the device in a box – this was our window of opportunity.

We wanted to design a box that was capable of charging the device for the user as soon as it was placed inside the box – a drop and charge type of solution. NESTTM is a design-free concept and that Humavox is a tech platform and not a product company, hence we don't really "design boxes" (other than for demo and concept purposes) – product designers of our customers design their NEST i.e. their BOX charger. With that in mind, it's also important to highlight the fact that NEST isn't necessarily a BOX design. Although it must contain an 'enclosure' for the cavity resonator, the design can be whatever designers want it to be.

Physical case for the charging station.

Physical case for the charging station.

Wireless charging using RF works like WiFi or cellular communication (tower sending data to devices): instead of transmitting and receiving data in certain frequencies, we’re transmitting and receiving RF in order to convert it into DC charge. This description is general but helps understanding ‘how it works’. As known to some, a gentleman by the name of Nikola Tesla was first to actually transmit power in such form about a 100 years ago.

NEST Power Station is a combination between a faraday cage containing an RF cavity resonator. When we transmit RF inside the NEST Station it 'acts' in a completely different manner than it would have if transmitted in 'free-space' environment. We control RF inside the NEST Station in a very accurate form, so transmission and reception of the wireless signal is very accurate (high efficiency).

NEST power station.

NEST power station.

What devices have been targeted by EternaTM?

The characteristics of this market are punishing, I am actually referring to the problem and you are talking about - 15 billion dollar industry held mostly by 6 big manufacturers with around 13 million devices in a rather fast annual growth rate.

Nearly 80 percent of people diagnosed with impaired hearing don’t wear a hearing aid, and why is that?  One of the top reasons is self-esteem issues and due to the size and appearance of the device. One of the reasons why these devices are not getting smaller is the batter power.

In order to minimize the devices, manufacturers need to change chips for wireless enablement. The problem is not the price of the micro battery cell but making it easier for the elderly or the very young to replace the battery.

How does Eterna compare to traditional and restrictive methods of charging devices?

There are two main discriminators:

From a consumer/user standpoint, charging is turned into an intuitive and effortless charging – as easily as dropping a coin in a box. It charges one or many devices at the same time, in the space.

It is sealed (faraday cage) so you’re not emitting electromagnetic energy in the free space.
This applies for both consumer and manufacturer in oppose to the desire to integrate magnetic mats in furniture, existing 'enclosures' or 'boxes' in our lives can be easily become 'enhanced' and become chargers as well. For instance – your car's arm rest or other compartments. Plane seat compartment, your hotel safe, a drawer, and even smaller enclosures like glasses case.

Humavox wireless charging station.

Humavox wireless charging station.

It is about integrating wireless charging enablement in a more comprehensive way that will not ask us to 'learn new usability' tricks as users, and constitute a viable solution for a vast range of electronic devices – not just mainstream devices like smartphones.

From a device designer/manufacturer standpoint: there's ease and flexibility in integration but I think that with that in mind, it comes down to one main benefit – tech viability and scalability. Our technology can be accessed and integrated in an agile and rapid way, without leading to high engineering efforts and irrational BOM cost.

The platform creates a new charging experience that has a real chance to dramatically reduce the number of cords in our lives, and serve as real fit for ALL user categories, elder and young, as well as an endless array of devices from multiple market categories.

What are the advantages of Eterna?

The technology allows the manufacturer to offer an intuitive charging experience for the end-user. There are no concerns for the end-user that the device is working; you simply drop the device in the box and charge it – rapid integration is enabled.

What band of frequency is covered with Eterna and how does this impact the breadth of applications possible for this platform?

Eterna covers the ISM (Industrial, Scientific and Medical) band, starting at 6.7MHz and up to 244GHz. Realistically, we haven't went beyond 5.6GHz on the higher side of the spectrum.

How do you see this new platform transforming the healthcare industry?

My first objective is to see how it is charged and to manage it. During the design and development of a new hearing aid, manufacturers need to think about their user who is usually elder or a child. They have to think about the user and how he/she is going to operate the device.

How is this new platform eco-friendly?

When talking about wireless charging, the typical questions at some process involves considering the energy of the grid. In our case, we are probably, presenting unprecedented numbers in wireless charging efficiency. We are confined in the net and we control the energy. Technology is not magnetic coupling; we are just transmitting energy to charge the device.

Where can we find further information on your products and services?

Further information can be found on the Humavox website.

About Omri Lachman

Omri Lachman

Omri Lachman is founder and CEO of Humavox. He is an entrepreneur and a business development catalyst who specializes in new markets penetration strategy and tactics, and has been practicing entrepreneurship throughout his entire professional journey, from divisional and in-group long-term initiatives in product marketing, to 'garage stage' start-up companies. Omri lives in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.


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