At CES: The Latest in Charging Technology


A little exercise not only does your body good, it can charge up your smartphone.

At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Thursday, Evanston, Illinois-based Ampy showed off its Ampy Move, a wearable battery pack that charges with up-and-down motion that makes a couple of magnets bounce up and down inside coils.

That’s an electricity-creating process invented by Nikola Tesla in the late 1800s. And on a small scale, it’s good for a quick boost of energy that can get you to the end of the day with power.

One hour of jogging while wearing the pack will get you roughly an hour of power for your phone (under normal use). The crowdfunded company has been selling them for $99. Director of marketing Ethan Krupp said a new product is in the works that is slimmer, more efficient, and has more indicator lights that give you a better sense that even 15 minutes of bouncing is creating some juice.

In other news from CES about the latest in charging technology: Your wireless charging pads don’t just giving your phone power; they’re also communicating with your phone.

Low bandwidth data is going back and forth at hundreds of bits per second, and that can make it possible for the pad to identify you.

That means cars with wireless charging pads in them can access personal preferences like seat and mirror position and favorite radio stations, said John Perzow, vice president of market development for the Wireless Power Consortium, which is behind the Qi wireless charging standard.

Existing equipment could enable such functions with a software update, he says.