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Motorola shows off its over-the-air charging concept, and it's a game changer

motorola guru wireless over the air charging concept
(Image credit: Motorola)

Back in May, I wrote about Motorola and GuRu Wireless' partnership to create an over-the-air charging system. Such a set-up would let you charge your phone without wires or Qi-compatible pads, instead helping your phone's battery slowly tick upward as long as you remained in range of the charging device.

A few months later, Motorola has now shown off its first concept for this charging device. While it lacks a name — Motorola simply calls it the Over-the-Air Wireless Power in the demo video below or Space Charging on the company's Weibo account — the phone maker has a proof of concept, showing phones charging at a distance of up to 3 meters. This is just the first step in this new technology and it's exciting to think about where it goes from here.

Three meters is a decent distance, but you'll need to have your phone within the 100-degree field of view of the charger. That's still a wide area of effect, but it won't blanket a whole room. It's possible that future versions will enhance the range and angle, but that's a ways off. For now, the concept is something truly exciting.

Of course, the max wattage is likely to be pretty limited at first. When I spoke to GuRu Wireless earlier this year, they said that charging speeds will be between 5 to 10 watts, depending on your range from the charging device. While Motorola has not fully disclosed the charging speed of the concept device, I'd wager a guess it's in the range that GuRu cited during our conversation.

The device can charge up to four separate phones, which is quite impressive. It accomplishes this with a vast array of 1,600 antennae that distribute the wireless charging signal. Obstacles like your hand or pocket won't interfere, either.

We reached out to Motorola to get further clarification on the device, technology, and possible limitations, but we did not hear back by the time this article was published. If we get a response, we'll post an update.

Motorola has not said when we can expect to see this technology hit store shelves, or even see phones that support it. 

Jordan Palmer

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. It's hard to nail down one thing that Jordan is passionate about, since his attention span for a single given topic or activity doesn't last long. Jordan tends to lurk on social media, but you can best reach him on Twitter.