This Inventor May Make the Power Cord Obsolete

Meredith Perry, 25, is the founder of uBeam, a venture-backed start-up, that aims to make something rather fantastical a reality: charging your phone and other electronic devices over thin air. (Photo: Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY)
Meredith Perry, 25, is the founder of uBeam, a venture-backed start-up, that aims to make something rather fantastical a reality: charging your phone and other electronic devices over thin air.
(Photo: Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY)

Meredith Perry wants us all to commute in small blimps and communicate via holograms you can touch.

Admittedly both ideas are a bit tricky to pull off, so she’s starting with what she considers a simpler project: charging electronic devices over thin air.

Perry’s company is called uBeam, and if the 25-year-old New Jersey transplant has her way, that moniker soon will be as familiar as Wi-Fi.

“The dream is to replace all electrical outlets with uBeam transmitters,” says Perry. “You’ll wake up and just go through your day with your device and it will be charging in your house, in your car, at your bus stop, at your gym, in your hotel. We want to be absolutely everywhere. And wires won’t be anywhere.”

Here’s how it works. uBeam’s transmitter is a wafer-thin square the size of a salad plate that punches out ultrasonic frequencies much like a speaker creates sound. The receiver, currently in the form of a smartphone case, resonates at the same high frequency and turns that imperceptible movement into energy, charging the phone.

uBeam’s transmitter doesn’t go through walls, so a square tile is required for each room. Although uBeam is still a few years from being consumer-ready, Perry is convinced her “competitively priced” creation will find its way into our homes and any commercial space where devices are used.

“What I’ve seen over the years is people making tiny improvements in existing technology as opposed to saying, ‘Let’s throw this all out and do something new,'” she says. “I know the odds are so against me. But I wouldn’t start a company and bust my (rear) for years unless we were working on something orders of magnitude better than anything else out there.”

Such bravado aside, some have a feeling Perry’s Jobsian manner may hint at great things.

Click here to continue reading…

SOURCE: Marco della Cava
USA TODAY

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