A world without cords – The Wireless Power Challenge

A world without cords – The Wireless Power Challenge

Technology News |
By eeNews Europe

Wireless Power is an area where a level of technological development is being made that has the potential to change the way we use and interact with technology. Liberating electronic engineers from the proverbial “ball and chain” of being tethered to a power supply will open up a whole new world of opportunity.

To explore the possibilities open to electrical engineers, we issued a challenge to the element14 Community in collaboration with Würth Elektronik and Texas Instruments. The “Beyond the Phone” Challenge aims to demonstrate the next generation of Wireless Power innovation. We gave entrants a Wireless Power kit, a budget of €275 for additional components and a 12 month CadSoft Pro License. The rest is up to them.

Revolutionising industries

So far, the real eye-opener is the sheer breadth of applications that the entrants to this Challenge have explored. Among the 12 finalists we see everything from wirelessly charged skin cancer screening devices and autonomous underwater vehicles to Smart ID cards and smoke alarms.

The finalists and their project ideas are listed below:


  1. Dr. Janis Alnis (Latvia): Wirelessly charged skin cancer screening device (currently in development at the University of Latvia)
  2. Hendrik Lipka (Germany): A charger station and wireless power solution for battery-operated children’s toys
  3. Martin Puig (Germany): Charging station and wireless power solution for television remotes
  4. Eduardo Iscar Ruland (Spain): Wireless “Man Over Board” localisation device for boaters

Rest of world

  1. Maneesh Sharma (India): Emergency light pathway with wireless charger base for senior citizens
  2. Xu Weijie (China): Wireless charging solution for robot vacuum cleaners
  3. Malcolm Whinfield (Australia): A wireless power base to charge a smoke alarm, doorbell and telephone alerting devices used to support disabled users
  4. Alex Marconnet (USA): A universal, portable charging pad to power everyday devices in the home including: phones, television remotes, etc.
  5. Rich Mayfield (USA): An autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that can charge wirelessly and resist water penetration
  6. Mark Beckett (New Zealand): Electronic Shopping List using an ePaper display and low power wireless controller
  7. Kevin Jose (India): Smart ID cards that store and automatically update personal information including schedules, appointments, etc.

As the competitors commence work on their respective projects over the next few months, I’ll be providing regular updates on their progress and talking in more detail about the challenges they encounter and the conclusions reached.

About the author:

Dianne Kibbey is Global Head of Community at element14.

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