RCA Charger Draws Electricity from Wi-Fi Signals

OhGizmo apparently liked RCA's little Airnergy Charger gadget at CES 2010. Despite all the HDTVs, tablets and e-readers, this device was considered the "highlight" of the show. Why? Because it's a device charger that draws electricity from Wi-Fi signals. That's right: it generates a charge by pulling energy out of the air.

Although this type of device has appeared in a previous attempt, OhGizmo reports that RCA's version is actually able to harvest enough energy--with a high enough efficiency--to make it practical. During the presentation, RCA managed to re-charge a Blackberry smartphone from 30-percent to full in about 90 minutes. That's nothing speedy, but given that its yanked straight from the air, that's darn right impressive.

The rechargeable battery resides within the Airnergy device, and will automatically begin charging once it comes in contact with Wi-Fi signals. And unlike solar-based products, the Airnergy can be juiced up day or night as long as a Wi-Fi source is within reach. The battery's recharge speed depends on the proximity of the Wi-Fi hotspot: the further away from the source, the longer it takes for the battery to recharge.

The weird aspect about this device is that the Airenergy charger itself will hit the market this summer for $40, but the battery using the Wi-Fi harvesting technology won't be available until soon afterward. There was no indication on how much the battery will actually cost. We're hoping there's some kind of starter bundle that won't break the bank.

More on CES 2010

Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then, he’s loved all things PC-related and cool gadgets ranging from the New Nintendo 3DS to Android tablets. He is currently a contributor at Digital Trends, writing about everything from computers to how-to content on Windows and Macs to reviews of the latest laptops from HP, Dell, Lenovo, and more.