Wireless power startup targets IoT with European investment

Wireless power startup targets IoT with European investment

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The latest funding brings the total investment at Nikola Labs of Columbus, Ohio, to $4m for its far-field energy harvesting and wireless power technology that converts radio frequency (RF) energy into direct current (DC) power. The technology – which was developed by Dr. Chi-Chih Chen, an Associated Research Professor at Ohio State University’s ElectroScience Laboratory – has the potential for a wide range of applications, says the company, including providing reliable wireless power to Internet of Things (IoT) devices like security sensors and fitness trackers.

“More than 100 years ago, Nikola Tesla envisioned a world with wireless power and we are intent on making his dormant dream a reality, says Will Zell, CEO, Nikola Labs. “This new investment helps us do that faster – enabling us to leverage the momentum we’ve already built and go beyond to become a serious competitor in wireless power.”

The company demonstrated mechanical samples of its RF-to-DC receiver chip – called INDRA – at CES 2017. Able to collect usable power from a wide range of ISM (industrial, scientific, and medical) radio bands, the device, which was developed with Skyworks Solutions and Texas Instruments, rectifies incoming RF waves, boosts voltage, and regulates outlet power to directly operate devices or charge storage.

According to the company, the latest funding round will also enable Dr. Chen to transition from his OSU professorship into the role of Nikola Labs’ Chief Technology Officer. The latest investment comes from an early stage investment group in Europe and was sourced and organized by Ikove Venture Partners, one of Nikola Labs original investors.

Nikola Labs

Related articles:
Wireless power startup raises funds ahead of chip release
Wirelessly powering the IoT
Tapping the nanopower of energy harvesting IoT, wearable systems

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