According to The Asahi Shimbun, Japanese researchers have developed a flexible and cuttable Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) sheet that may someday allow smartphone users to easily charge their devices on the go in their daily lives.
The wireless sheets, which allow users to cut them with scissors into a shape that will fit furniture, clothing or bags, is the brainchild of a research team at the University of Tokyo.
“Probably, we can eventually develop a bag that can automatically charge a smartphone battery just by putting the phone inside,” said an official of the research team.
Yoshihiro Kawahara, an associate professor in the university's Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, said, “Users can charge a smartphone with the WPT sheet in the same length of time that is required to charge it through an electrical outlet.”
The WPT sheet, which measures 1,600 square centimeters and weighs 82 grams, can transfer power via electromagnetic fields in a contact-less manner.
The system uses a transmitter coil in the charger to transmit power to smartphones in a wireless manner. It is thin and has a wide charging area due to its design. The coils are also wired to provide a charge to a device if enough remain intact even after the sheet is cut.
Thus, users can be supplied with power without the use of a cable.
Some products that can charge smartphones wirelessly exist. But a smartphone usually needs to be charged at a fixed position above the coil. New devices that can fit clothing or bags to charge smartphones have been sought after by consumers.
To meet their needs, the researchers worked with a unique wiring layout and placed several coils, which allow users to pick any part of the sheet and shape it even into a star or heart-shaped pattern as long as a wire from the power source to the coil is not cut.
Their research has been reported in the digital edition of ACM Digital Library, an international journal operated by an institution headquartered in the United States.
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