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Microsoft Researchers ­se Light Beams to Charge Smartphones


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The prototype AutoCharge system uses a Microsoft Kinect camera.

The prototype AutoCharge automatic wireless charging system for smartphones may be mounted on a ceiling, so it can locate a smartphone lying on a table, and then charge it using a directed beam of light.=

Credit: Computerworld

Microsoft researchers in Beijing have developed AutoCharge, a prototype automatic wireless charging system for smartphones. The charger can be mounted on a ceiling and automatically locate a smartphone lying on a table, and then charge it using a directed beam of light.

The light charger has two modes: in the detection mode, it uses a camera and image recognition software to detect objects with the size and shape of a smartphone lying on a table. The charger will rotate until it detects an object that looks like a smartphone. The device then enters charging mode and turns on its light.

The system relies on the smartphone exchanging messages with the charger via an on-phone light-emitting diode in order to avoid attempting to charge a phone that already has a full battery. The researchers found using a light beam to charge a smartphone could be as quick as many wired chargers, depending on the size of the photovoltaic panel.

The charger also is capable of identifying when an object moves between it and the phone, and automatically deactivating the light beam within 50 milliseconds.

From Computerworld Australia
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