Cell Phone Surface is an Energy Harvesting Antenna

August 08, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

Radient Micro-Tech announced that it has received two key patents for its technology that captures RF waves and converts them into electrical energy for reuse and/or charge cell phones and other electronics. Radient is the first company to patent the concept of repurposing the cell phone's surface into an energy-harvesting antenna that absorbs and reuses its own wasted radiated power to deliver smarter, green wireless charging.

Mobile devices require a tremendous amount of power to send signals to cell towers, but only a tiny portion of this energy ever reaches the intended target and up to 90% dissipates into the air. Radient collects that radio power and uses it to extend the battery of the cell phone. Its technology reduces power consumption and improves battery life by up to 30 percent. This not only creates a better experience for consumers, but also reduces the cost and size of the battery, resulting in huge savings for device manufacturers.

Additionally, Radient's patented technology serves as a wireless charger that enables users to power up on-the-go rather than tethered to a table, representing a decisive competitive edge for the manufacturers that implement it.

Wireless charging is something mobile device users have wanted for years, according to a report from research firm IHS. Running out of battery, misplacing or forgetting cords, and untangling wires are frustrations that most mobile users deal with on a regular basis. Better battery life and wireless charging are clearly the way of the future, but turning this vision into a reality has been a slow process.

"Most of the options out there today transfer power from one location to another — from charger to device — a principle that Nikola Tesla demonstrated back in the 1890s. Radient is the first company to go beyond this outdated, 19th century model," said Radient cofounder and CTO Marc Chen. "In addition, poorly designed externally attached cell phone case solutions can degrade or block a cell phone's communication signal, creating a situation where in an emergency, calls will be dropped. Radient has developed the technology to specifically address these kinds of problems."

Radient will license its smarter, greener wireless charging technology to wireless device manufacturers, wireless charger manufacturers, and semiconductor suppliers who will benefit from cost savings ($0.5-$1.00 battery cost savings per phone) and a competitive edge. For large cell phone companies that sell 50-300 million phones per year, Radient's technology translates into huge annual cost savings, while for smaller companies, offering "Smarter, Greener Wireless Charging" can help increase revenue at $100-$600 per additional phone sold. And by incorporating Radient's technology, existing wireless charger companies can instantaneously leapfrog their competition by wirelessly charging for free.

"The two patents represent a powerful foundation and are just the beginning for Radient," said Marc. "We are expanding our patent portfolio and continue adding breadth to our offering, setting the business up to deliver valuable technology for a long, long time."