Does Mother Box Bring Us Closer to Truly Wireless Charging?

Yank Technologies is crowdfunding their antenna and receiver configuration that they hope will let us charge our phones without the wires.

Josh Yank and his team at Yank Technologies were frustrated with the progress of smart phones. Their phones were full of features and have made several advances in the last ten years, but the charging methods were the same as first generation devices. The team developed Mother Box to be a wireless charging solution for smart phones, and is currently running an Indiegogo campaign to fund their first round of production components.

The wireless charging in this application happens as a result of a receiver that is required to be plugged into the phone’s power port. The receiver is a flat piece that sits on the back of your phone and works similar to current inductive charging technology. The innovation for the Mother Box is a patent pending antenna configuration inside the device that transmits the charging signal in all directions and takes away the requirement to lay your phone flat against a charging surface. Charging performance is the best when the phone is closer to the Mother Box, and the campaign page claims that multiple devices can be charged in this way. Charging is almost more sensitive to perpendicular alignment as the phone is moved farther away from the charger.

Mother Box’s campaign video is largely a polished commercial for the device without diving into technical details. However, another video on the page gives a little more theory, and a demonstration video shows how the charger works with the app and a connected phone. The Box defines itself as the first truly wireless charging product because no point to point contact is required between the phone and the charging unit. There’s still a wire that plugs the charger into a standard outlet, but I’m choosing to ignore that today.

Arrow Electronics did a review of the campaign and has verified that the design can be manufactured. This seal of approval always helps me to give more benefit of the doubt to projects. The campaign is around halfway to its funding goal with a month left, and if successful first units will ship around September 2017. Overall it’s very interesting for me to see a new method of wireless charging explored and if this takes off there are dozens of applications that could use the technology right now. The fact that the product name has such amazingly nerdy origins is just gravy on the potatoes.