Nikola Tesla pioneered the transmission of electricity over wires. Heinrich Hertz proved it could be transmitted wirelessly. But we still use 19th centre technology to power 21st century devices.
Nikola Labs — which pitched today on stage after being selected by TechCrunch editorial team and the audience as the Wild Card choice from Startup Alley — launched a device that converts radio frequencies into DC power, and, they claim, can therefore power devices.
Today they launched their first product using the technology: a case for an iPhone 6. It converts the wasted 90 percent of energy the phone produces trying to pump out a cellphone signal, and puts it back into the phone, thus powering it for up to 30 percent longer.
Note: This is not an extra battery; it simply works passively. Essentially it is harvesting back the ambient RF energy already being produced by the phone.
They aim to bring the product to market within one year, in partnership with Ohio State University, where the technology was originally developed, and from there they have licensed the technology and patents.
They could also put this into many different devices, such as wearable technology, embedded sensors, medical devices and Internet of Things devices — anything that doesn’t require massive amounts of electricity.
It will be launching on Kickstarter in one month for $99, and they hope to ship it inside the following four months.
Appropriately, Nikola Labs launched its product in the very building Tesla himself lived and eventually died in.