Disposable batteries – those little things that you always seem to need when your remote control dies at the most inconvenient times – are almost impossible to avoid. While most of us know we aren’t supposed to just throw them away when they are dead, many people don’t know why. Batteries are actually filled with extremely harmful chemicals that are toxic to the environment around us. They also cost a significant amount of money over the long-term and many complain that making a specific trip to a recycling center is inconvenient, which is why many people just secretly put them in the trash. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), each year Americans throw away more than three billion batteries and of that amount, more than 86,000 tons are single use alkaline batteries.
Like all of our other trash, batteries you toss away end up in a landfill, and the worst part is it can result in the release of corrosive liquids and dissolved metals that are toxic to plants and animals, unlike food waste that decomposes, or even plastics that can sit there intact for hundreds of years. The AA, C and D cell batteries that power toys, games, flashlights and other electronics make up nearly 20% of the household hazardous materials in America’s landfills. Even if you don’t live near a landfill, these harmful substances permeate into the soil and groundwater, where they are taken up by plants that animals and humans might consume. If burnt in waste combustors, batteries also release toxins into the air we all breathe.
It’s a serious problem that consumers simply just have not had the ability to control, because many of our gadgets and beloved products still are battery-powered, so we are forced to spend our money on them to power our devices.
Then there’s the alternative, which is rechargeable batteries, but they also have their downfalls because the high-price to purchase them, the extra steps that go into keeping them charged and remembering not to “overcharge” them. Most of us are looking for ways to reduce the amount of things we need to remember to do each day, not add to it, which is why we are dedicated to improving the lives of consumers around the world with an over-the-air wireless charging solution that removes all of these steps for you.
With all of the innovation happening in the technology industry, from EV powered vehicles to drones, the disposable battery industry is one that hasn’t been disrupted and we have set out to change that. WattUp from Energous is wireless charging 2.0: an RF-based charging technology that enables small electronic and IoT devices to be charged at a distance. With WattUp, new electronic device designs that don’t require you to constantly replace disposable batteries can exist – think toys, TV remote controls, hearing aids, wearable bands, security sensors and so much more. In the future, we can expect to live in a WattUp-enabled world where you’ll help cut down on the number of disposable batteries that end up in a landfill and reduce your own need to constantly manage and maintain a stock of batteries in your home. Now, that’s something to get charged up about.