Powercast Corporation, the leader in radio-frequency (RF)-based over-the-air wireless power technology, has released first production units of its Wireless Charging Grip for Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Controllers, the world’s first gaming product that charges over the air without wires or charging mats. Developed to deliver carefree wireless charging where gamers don’t have to dock their Joy-Con controllers, Powercast’s grip automatically recharges them over the air when placed within one foot of Powercast’s PowerSpot® wireless power transmitter. Powercast’s Wireless Charging Grip and its companion PowerSpot transmitter are now available on Amazon initially for Nintendo Switch gamers in the U.S. and Canada for a bundled price of US$149.99: https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Charging-PowerSpot-Transmitter-Bundle/dp/B08FTJPDBS/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=wireless+charging+grip+powerspot&qid=1598271782&sr=8-2
Most grips simply make Joy-Cons easier to hold, while Powercast’s grip also wirelessly charges two Joy-Cons and doubles as a backup battery pack. It keeps batteries topped off when out of the transmitter’s range for about 26 hours of gameplay on one charge. Most gamers can achieve a full charge over a 24-hour period by simply leaving their Wireless Charging Grip near the front of their PowerSpot transmitter between gaming sessions. Daily usage and battery level will determine charging range and rate.
The LED on the grip guides gamers where to place their grip to optimize charging. When fully charged the LED double blinks green, and when the grip needs charging the LED double blinks red. It blinks green when fast charging, yellow when moderate charging, and red to tell users to place their Wireless Charging Grip closer to the PowerSpot transmitter for faster charging. A new PowerSpot app (iOS and Android) provides a hub for monitoring the charging status of the grip and other PowerSpot-enabled devices, downloading firmware updates, and more.
“Over-the-air wireless charging is perfect for most of us gamers who play a few hours per day,” said Charles Greene, Ph.D., chief operating and technical officer of Powercast. “Without having to plug in or position it on a charging mat, users can simply set their Wireless Charging Grip down in front of their PowerSpot transmitter and it will wirelessly recharge until they’re ready to game again.”
Greene continued, “Our grip is great for gamers who want the convenience to ‘set it and forget it,’ but we also included a standard USB-C port for wired charging if needed.” He explained, “Wired charging delivers high power for a fast charge, while over-the-air charging delivers more convenient, lower power over an extended period of time. Powercast’s highly efficient RF harvesting system optimizes power delivery over the air for a high performance, easy-to-use alternative to wired charging.”
Powercast’s embedded Powerharvester® receiver harnesses RF energy sent over the air from the U.S. FCC- and Canadian ISED-approved PowerSpot transmitter, and converts it to direct current (DC) to charge the Wireless Charging Grip’s embedded battery. This embedded battery then charges the connected Joy-Cons, and can act as a backup battery pack once the Joy-Cons are fully recharged. Using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), the grip requests power from the transmitter when its batteries are low, and signals it to stop when charged.
“While our focus remains helping our OEM customers design in our wireless power technology and deliver their products to market, we’ve really enjoyed developing our own wirelessly rechargeable consumer product as well,” continued Greene. “Many of us are Switch gamers, so we can’t wait to leave our Joy-Cons in the grip and just set it down to recharge without having to dock them.”
“We’re very excited to start shipping our Wireless Charging Grip even amidst the pandemic that caused manufacturing delays, and we plan to continue to ramp production as the global situation allows,” continued Greene.
Powercast’s future vision is for consumers to be able to place all their PowerSpot-enabled devices in front of a PowerSpot transmitter to enjoy far-field (up to 80 feet, or 24 meters) over-the-air wireless charging. Thirty or more enabled devices in the charging zone will automatically connect and receive power, sharing the transmitter’s three-watt (EIRP) output emitted in the 915 MHZ band. A device’s power consumption determines its charging range and rate; power-hungry products charge best at close range, while low-power devices such as sensors can operate at the maximum distance. Each device’s instructions will recommend its charging distance and time.
Editorial note: Visuals are available at: http://www.powercastco.com/grips.
Powercast, established in 2003, is the leading provider of RF-based wireless power technologies that work in the far field (up to 80 feet) to provide power-over-distance, eliminate or reduce the need for batteries, and power or charge devices without wires and connectors. Founded with the vision of enabling untethered devices powered over the air, Powercast continues to create the most efficient, safe and highest power harvesting technology achievable while complying with the FCC and other global standards. Powercast’s IP portfolio includes 57 patents worldwide (32 in the US) and 29 patents pending. http://www.powercastco.com.
Note: Nintendo, Switch, and Joy-Con are registered trademarks of Nintendo.