Researchers from the North Carolina State University have developed a system that can transfer videos and power up consumer electronics using the same wireless connection. Most conventional wireless charging pads require the device to almost touch the surface of the wireless charger. Charging a device at a distance requires antennas that operate in the narrow band. The researchers realised that while transferring power at a distance requires narrow band antennas, the bandwidth of the data can actually be higher than previously thought.
David Ricketts, senior author of the paper says, "One of the most popular applications is in wireless cell phone charging pads. As many know, these unfortunately often require almost physical contact with the pad, limiting the usefulness of a truly ‘wireless’ power source. Recent work by several researchers have extended wireless power to ‘mid-range’ which can supply power at inches to feet of separation. While encouraging, most of the wireless power systems have only focused on the power problem – not the data that needs to accompany any of our smart devices today. Addressing those data needs is what sets our work apart here."
The resulting system is capable of powering devices with an efficiency that is similar to wireless charging pads. The system was tested with and without data streaming. Without data streaming, the system could transfer 3 watts of power. With 3.39 mbps of data streaming, there was only a 2.3 percent loss in the energy efficiency of the system. The findings have been published in IEEE Antennas and Wireless Propagation Letters.