Press Releases

12 Finalists to Develop Wireless Power Solutions in Newest element14 Design Competition

"Beyond the Phone" challenge provides competitors around the world with kit of parts from Texas Instruments and Wurth Electronics

March 17, 2014 – CHICAGO – The award winning and first-of-its-kind element14 Community has selected 12 finalists in the Beyond the Phone" Wireless Power Challenge. The finalists were chosen from hundreds of submissions around the world to build wireless power solutions for everyday devices.

The competition aims to liberate design engineers from the tether of traditional power supplies, and ultimately bring wirelessly controlled devices to consumers. Following a challenge in 2013, this is element14's second wireless power competition, and the proposed projects are have evolved significantly.

"The quality of the submissions we received was incredible," said Dianne Kibbey, global head of community at element14. "Some of the proposed builds will provide modern conveniences in the home or office, while others could actually help save lives. The element14 Community was there during the early stages of wireless power development, and we're proud to help it reach its full potential by sponsoring these 12 unique design projects from around the world."

Competitors will have from March 24 until June 27, 2014 to complete their projects using the Wireless Power Solution Transfer Kit, which is produced by both Texas Instruments (TI) and Wurth Electronics. Participants will also receive a budget of $275 for additional components, courtesy of TI, and a 12-month CadSoft Pro License.

"Wurth's Wireless Power kit provides Qi-compliant contact-less charging, a plug-and-play 5W wireless power transfer, complete development boards for easy integration and much more," said Simon Leuz, distribution sales manager EMEA, Wurth Electronics. "We are excited to partner with element14 to bring wireless power solutions to engineers everywhere."

The finalists, as well as their locations and design proposals, are:

  • Dr. Janis Alnis (Latvia): wirelessly charge a skin cancer screening device currently in development at a University of Latvia laboratory
  • Mark Beckett (New Zealand): "Electronic Shopping List" using an ePaper display and low power wireless controller
  • Kevin Jose (India): Smart ID cards that store and automatically update personal information including schedules, appointments, etc.
  • Hendrik Lipka (Germany): A charger station and wireless power solution for his son’s battery-operated toys
  • Alex Marconnet (U.S.): A universal, portable charging pad to power everyday devices in the home including phones, television remotes, etc.
  • Rich Mayfield (U.S.): An autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that can charge wirelessly and resist water penetration
  • Martin Puig (Germany): Charging station and wireless power solution for television remotes
  • Eduardo Iscar Ruland (Spain): Wireless "Man Over Board" localization device for boaters
  • Maneesh Sharma (India): Emergency light pathway with wireless charger base for senior citizens
  • Inderpreet Singh (India): Wireless charging solution for enclosed/encased sensors
  • Xu Weijie (China): Wireless charging solution for robot vacuum cleaners
  • Malcolm Whinfield (Australia): A wireless power base to charge a smoke alarm, doorbell and telephone alerting device used to support his wife’s disability

The grand prize winner of element14's "Beyond the Phone" Wireless Power Challenge will receive a Macbook Pro with retina display. The runner up will receive a Google Nexus 7. The winning competitors will participate in a Google Hangout with Texas Instruments in May to discuss the evolution of wireless power.

"Wireless power technology is already bringing convenience to the recharging process for millions of smartphone users around the world, but we know that this technology can enable many new applications in other areas as well," said Upal Sengupta, applications manager, Texas Instruments. "The TI semiconductors and Wurth magnetic components in the Wireless Power Kit provide a foundation that will allow creative engineers to demonstrate wireless power in combination with their own innovative ideas. We are all eager to see how they might be used in the element14 Design Challenge."

Participants will document their progress through photos, videos and blog posts at the element14 Community.


About element14

Launched in June 2009, element14 is the first information portal, collaborative community and electronics store specifically built for electronic design engineers. The community recently unveiled its element14 knode, a unique automated platform that enables engineers to quickly research, design, develop and prototype in a single, intelligent environment. element14 is an innovative offering from Premier Farnell plc (LSE:pfl), FTSE 250, a leader in multi-channel electronics distribution trading throughout Europe (Farnell), the Americas (Newark) and Asia Pacific (element14). The company had group sales of £952m last year.

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