LAS VEGAS, NEV. — Alticor startup Fulton Innovation will debut a revolutionary technology today at the Consumer Electronics Show intended to eliminate the use of power transmission wires for potentially every device that must be plugged into an electrical outlet or charger.
The technology, eCoupled, is based on inductive coupling, a 200-year-old technology that transfers energy from one device to another through a shared magnetic field. It has been used for six years within Alticor’s eSpring Water Treatment System, representing more than $1.2 billion in sales in that time.
Essentially, the technology can be used to power or charge any device of up to 1,400 watts by simply placing it within a half inch of the eCoupled device.
Fulton Innovation launched in November out of the Grand Rapids-based Access Business Group to commercialize eCoupled within the larger consumer space, with licensing agreements already in place with Visteon, Herman Miller, Motorola and electronic adaptor company Mobility Electronics.
“The technology can go virtually anywhere we use power today,” said David Hazlett, Fulton Innovation’s director of business development. “In the consumer electronics ecosystem, you have all these devices — cell phone, PDA, iPod — and power cords everywhere for everything. You have a charger for each at home, in the car, the office.
“This is universal,” he said. “You can just sit whatever it is on top of the base, without having to plug anything in. Anywhere you plug something in, you can use this technology.”
Early buzz for an eCoupled debut from Visteon scheduled for tomorrow morning has made first-time exhibitor Alticor one of the most talked about companies at CES. Visteon is showing several concept designs, integrating a “cup holder” charger into the Toyota Scion, Honda Civic and some Ford models, along with freestanding demonstrations.
Visteon plans to begin manufacturing the product for distribution this summer.
“We’ve been working on this for six years under the radar,” said Hazlett. “Our relationships are maturing in key areas, and we’re ready to go public.”
Hazlett said the company hopes that eCoupled will become the standard technology for wireless power transmission in the manner that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi have become industry standards for their respective niches.
Although most of the first applications will focus on mobility, the technology is not limited to small, low-power devices. With a potential output of 1,400 watts, eCoupled could theoretically be used to power kitchen appliances and office machines.