Jun 02, 2022

Early NFC Forum Wireless Charging 2.0 Adopter Solving Multiple IoT Device Charging Challenge

Innovative Wireless Charging Solution from NFC Forum Member Metaboards to be Shared at June Member Meeting

“We recognized the huge potential of NFC wireless charging in early 2020 and purchased the NFC Forum Candidate Specification in February 2020, before we even became members. NFC wireless charging should revolutionize charging for small devices, and we are currently integrating NFC Forum Wireless Charging 2.0 specification into our platform,” said Dennis O’Donovan, COO, Metaboards.

Metaboards’ platform uses metamaterials principles, proprietary control algorithms, and the NFC Forum Wireless Charging Specification to solve the complex problem of wirelessly charging multiple devices in parallel.

The 15-person technology company was founded in 2016 by professors from the Department of Engineering Science at Oxford University, England. From the start, the company focused on wireless charging and data transfer using metamaterials. For more information, watch the video below.

Wirelessly Charging Multiple Devices Simultaneously

“Metaboards’ approach to wireless power transfer is making wireless charging a lot more user friendly. We’re all about the freedom of placement on the wireless charging surface and charging multiple devices in parallel,” said Dr Irina Khromova, CTO, Metaboards. “NFC wireless charging standard is an important part of our newest demonstrator, and we are excited to be part of the NFC Forum. It provides us with the opportunity to be at the forefront of this innovation movement across the industry and talk with potential partners and others who want to introduce the solution to their system.”

Additionally, Metaboards is utilizing the NFC Forum’s new Wayfinding Mark to direct users to the optimal location on the surface offering the fastest response time and the best possible charging location for their multiple devices.

Dr. Khromova will share details of the Metaboards’ solution at a presentation at the NFC Forum Open Forum in June. Register here to attend.

How it Works

Metaboards’ solution is focused specifically on low power devices and the ability to transfer power and data in parallel. A differentiator for their product is the ability to charge multiple devices without needing to worry about the alignment of the devices on the charging pad. Today, charging pads require precise alignment of devices for recharging. Testing revealed that a small offset on a conventional wireless charger can more than double the charging time of the device. A few millimeters can cost users extra hours without their devices or leave them with an uncharged fitness watch, headphones, or another small IoT device when they’re most needed.

“Our solution eliminates the location problem because the user doesn’t decide where to place the device so long as the device is placed on the surface of the pad. We track and scan the surface to locate the device. Then with our algorithms, we find the best path to route power to that device and to the second device and to the third device and so on,” said O’Donovan.

Environmentally Friendly and Efficient

As the number of IoT devices proliferate, whether that's headphones, a smartwatch, stylus or smart glasses, there is an associated cost of adding a charger and a cable into the box for each device.

Using a wireless charging solution instead would save the expense of a cable and charger. However, where that efficiency really comes to bear is when you talk about the environmental efficiencies of saving money on disposable batteries, copper cables, a charger, and most importantly, when you're charging multiple devices in parallel. Efficiencies become readily apparent because research supports that charging multiple devices individually is less efficient than charging several devices in parallel on a single charger.

For more information on the NFC Forum’s wireless charging spec, click here, and for more information on Metaboards, visit.

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