Wireless charger that can be cut into desired shape

1 min read

Researchers from the University of Tokyo have developed a new system to charge electronic devices such as smartphones and smartwatches wirelessly.

The method involves a cuttable, flexible power transfer sheet which charges devices wirelessly and can be moulded or cut with scissors to fit different-shaped surfaces and objects.

"You can do more than just cut this sheet into fun or interesting shapes," explains Ryo Takahashi of the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology. "The sheet is thin and flexible so you can mould it around curved surfaces such as bags and clothes. Our idea is anyone could transform various surfaces into wireless charging areas."

The design which allows these novel features is also what separates this idea from existing contactless power chargers, the researchers say. Both systems use conductive coils in the charger to induce a current in corresponding coils in the device. However, the cuttable sheet is not only much thinner but also has a wider usable charging area thanks to the way the coils are designed. These coils are also wired in such a way that provided enough of them remain intact after the sheet is cut to shape, they can still charge a device.

"Currently a 400mm square sheet provides about 2-5 Watts of power, enough for a smartphone. But I think we could get this up to tens of Watts or enough for a small computer," concludes Takahashi. "In just a few years, I would love to see this sheet embedded in furniture, toys, bags and clothes. I hope it makes technology more invisible."