The World’s First Smart Device That Charges Wirelessly From Distance: Alfred ML2 Lock
Enter the era of ‘no low phone batteries’. The possibility to charge your phone just by entering a Starbucks.
Enter the era of ‘no low phone batteries’. The possibility to charge your phone just by entering a Starbucks. Drink a latte while your phone wirelessly charges without ever leaving your pocket.
There has been significant buzz about the possibility of long-distance wireless charging for a while. But up until now, its utility and functionality have only been theoretical.
At the CES 2020, Wi-Charge and Alfred Locks introduced Alfred ML2 lock, the world’s first device that can be charged across long distances wirelessly, receiving power through the air.
Alfred ML2 lock has a mortise-class design — the kind of design generally used in older buildings in the United States. The lock is built into a groove on the door and you can tap your phone or NFC card on it to open the door.
Electric locks operate on batteries and the batteries need to be replaced every once in a while. However, thanks to Wi-Charge’s innovation, the Alfred ML2 lock can be charged wirelessly so you never need to replace the batteries inside.
Wi-Charge said their technology can “safely and efficiently deliver several watts of power to client devices at room-sized distances.” However, since they haven’t specified how large the room is, it’s currently unclear what the wireless range really is.
While the concept of long-distance wireless charging has been around for several decades, its actual utility has eluded most technological companies. Wi-Charge — which won the CES 2018 Innovation Award — is currently the foremost company with regulatory approval for its wireless charging technology.
However, Wi-Charge has been trying to launch its wireless charging technology for a while with limited success. They also unveiled similar wirelessly-charged smart locks in 2018 and 2019 with different smart lock providers. While other startups have also tried to demonstrate the true utility of wireless charging, it has largely been used for charging pads for phones and earbuds.
The Alfred ML2 Lock is currently priced at $699, which is incredibly steep considering that’s the cost of the lock individually and not the wireless power source, which will cost an additional $150 to $180.