Part of the Electronics glossary:

Powercast is a technology that uses a low-level radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic field to recharge small electrochemical cells and batteries. Powercast can be used with low-power electronic devices such as cellular telephone s, portable media players or hearing aids. The technology is under development by Powercast LLC, based in Pennsylvania.

A Powercast transmitter, also called a Wireless Power Platform, sends out a continuous RF signal when plugged into a conventional utility outlet. The AC power contained in the EM field is converted to DC inside the device to be charged by means of a small rectifier chip called the receiver. The process is similar to the way an old-fashioned "crystal set" radio receiver intercepts EM energy with a wire antenna and produces audible signals in a headset without any other source of power. The charging effect occurs slowly but most small devices containing rechargeable batteries are ready for use after being left near the transmitter overnight.

This was last updated in March 2007
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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