As Benjamin Franklin once said, “energy and persistence conquer all things.” I’ve worked in the regulatory arena for my entire career, removing barriers to trade and getting products approved for high volume global shipments. One thing that has been true at every stage of my journey is that the regulatory processes are never fast enough. Technology evolves quickly and new radio technologies require spectrum and defined product regulations. That said, there are regulators who are working tirelessly to support industry and accelerate the path to market for new technologies.
Earlier this month at CES, I had the opportunity to meet with FCC Commissioner, Michael O’Rielly, and his team where he took a very active role of specifically engaging and working to understand the future of wireless charging. His passion and interest in the field was clear: he had many relevant questions about the current state of the industry, where it is headed and what needs to happen to drive high-volume adoption.
Following these industry engagements at CES, Commissioner O’Rielly’s opening statements to The United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation, made very clear the critical importance and massive potential of wireless power:
“Wireless power in terms of a relatively new innovation issue, I believe that wireless power may be vital for the success of future connectivity and productivity. Specifically, with billions upon billions – and perhaps trillions – of additional wireless devices expected to be deployed over the next few years, be it smartphones, IoT sensors, automated equipment and the like, providing sustainable and reliable power will be a challenge. I suggest to you that power is likely to be delivered differently in the future, as outlets with four plugs and disposable batteries are likely to be replaced by wireless power. This is not only because of the nightmare of trying to provide electrical service to such a mass of devices and equipment, but also simply a matter of reducing weight and improving functionality.”
I’ve seen firsthand the FCC partner with industry to support and drive adoption of many new and innovative technologies – and it’s clear this has not changed. In fact, the FCC last month issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) addressing wireless charging and demonstrating its support of industry progress by potentially allowing for a broader range of solutions and implementations. The rulemaking process is complex, but these are great steps forward to support the massive potential described by Commissioner O’Rielly.
At Energous, we are investing substantially in regulatory because we understand the critical role it plays in building a wireless charging ecosystem on a global scale. We’ve built our team of experts over the years and have a network of global partners that support us and are driving similar progress around the world. Our work directly engaging governments in key countries has been tireless. We are facilitating the development of a robust landscape to support the wide range of product categories and solutions our customers demand. With the technical expertise we’ve built at Energous, we are leading efforts in key spectrum and standards organizations to address the national and international product requirements needed for market success.
Of course, none of these efforts are meaningful without customers. We engage with our customers constantly and work with them in tandem to make sure our technology solves their major pain points: notably, eliminating the many charging cables needed for their products. Customers around the world face these challenges and are motivated to drive positive change. We now have customers that directly support our international efforts and have partnered with us as we engage key governments. This is not a short-term vision to ship a handful of products in a few countries. We see the massive global potential for the industry, as does Commissioner O’Rielly, and this potential simply isn’t addressed by any incumbent technology.
It’s never fast enough, but what we do see is that customers, partners and government stakeholders are increasing engagement levels and taking direct steps to support the current and future generations of wireless charging technology.