No more power bricks and tangled cords: Wireless power-charging is coming to market, says WiTricity chief executive Alex Gruzen ’84, SM ’86. Last week Gruzen told BetaBoston, “Rather than calling it ‘wireless’ charging, I am absolutely convinced it’s just going to be ‘charging’ in five years.”
WiTricity was founded by several MIT researchers—including Professor of Physics Marin Soljačić ’96, physics department head Peter Fisher, and John Joannopoulos, the Francis Wright Davis Professor of Physics. The Watertown, Massachusetts–based company, where Gruzen took the helm in April, is a member of the nonprofit Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) that is pushing for magnetic resonance—one of a few competing approaches for a global wireless power transfer ecosystem—to be adopted as the industry standard.
As Gruzen told BetaBoston, “The consumer electronics space needs a standard, because the core thing that makes [new innovations] take off is interoperability.”
Over the last year, WiTricity has begun licensing its technology to companies developing new computing devices (Intel), electric vehicles (Toyota), and medical implants (Thoratec). WiTricity’s researchers have made significant strides in efficiency since the start-up’s 2007 founding, when, for proof of concept, they lit a 60-watt light bulb from eight feet away using two large copper coils tuned to the same frequency. Soljačić’s work in this area contributed to his winning a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship in 2008.
Read Gruzen’s essay for Wired on the future of personal computing: “Will Wireless Power Be the Catalyst for Wearables Adoption?”
And watch a recent segment on the technology aired by Fox News.