This morning we heard some news that would be exciting so true – that Belkin is working on what could be the very first consumer gadget with really wireless charging, which diffuses a small amount of energy into the air and into a room.
That’s what Wi-Charge Founder and Chief Commercial Officer, Ori Mor Told Tech Crunch this morning – going so far as to claim that Belkin would launch a specific “consumer core product” with the technology later this year.
But Belkin now denies much of that report, saying The edge that not only is there no product to date, but the two companies haven’t even migrated to the product concept phase again.
Belkin spokeswoman Jen Wei confirmed that Wi-Charge and Belkin To do have a partnership to explore certain product concepts, but that “the Tech Crunch the story has taken liberties for sure on what we are able to promise right now.
“Currently, our agreement with Wi-Charge only commits us to R&D on certain product concepts, so it is too early to comment on the timing of viable consumer products,” Wei writes.
Oddly, Wi-Charge doesn’t back up its founders’ claims one way or another: when we reached out, spokesperson Merrill Freund didn’t even confirm or deny whether its founder was telling the truth. on this subject. Tech Crunch interview just a few hours ago. “We are not commenting on Belkin beyond what is in the release,” he wrote, adding that Wi-Charge intends to launch two products with wireless charging “on our own.”
It’s unclear if Mor was lying or just speaking without Belkin’s permission and now keeping quiet. But it’s pretty clear that he didn’t speak badly – Tech Crunch has quote after quote from Mor insisting that Belkin has at least one product on the way.
Either way, if Belkin hasn’t moved into the product design phase yet, it seems unlikely that a product will come out for sure this year, especially in the midst of the pandemic when many companies are struggling to ship products around the world. .
Belkin seemed excited about the potential for a Wi-Charge partnership in a press release this morning, however:
“In line with our ongoing commitment to providing the best charging experience for our customers, we are excited to discover the full potential of Wi-Charge’s unparalleled wireless charging technology,” said Brian Van Harlingen, CTO, Belkin . “The future of charging has been shifting from wired to wireless for years and we are planning live wireless charging to accelerate this evolution.”
If a Belkin product does not materialize, it would be far from the first false start for truly wireless power transfer. We’ve been following the technology on and off for over a decade, watching companies like Energous and uBeam make promises and demos and get nowhere fast. More recently, Chinese phone makers including Xiaomi, Oppo and Motorola have announced versions of the technology, but none offered release dates when we last checked. There is no doubt that the technology works at a basic level; the demos are compelling, but the companies haven’t landed yet.
The previous “oh, we’re actually getting a real product” moment was also from Wi-Charge, when he announced the technology would appear in the Alfred ML2 lock at CES 2020. But we see no evidence that the lock has been went on sale nearly two years later, and the only mention on the company’s website is buried in a hub page.
By the way, Wi-Charge technology isn’t one for charging a laptop or phone either: it only emits 1 watt using infrared light, which is barely enough to charge a pair. of wireless headphones and their charging case. Still, it could keep low-power devices powered continuously, saving batteries, and it radiates power up to 40 feet away, according to the company.