Nikola Labs: Leading the Charge in Wireless Power
Nikola Labs: Leading the Charge in Wireless Power
Game-changing wireless power technology that gives your phone more battery life by recycling wasted energy. Made in the USA.
Game-changing wireless power technology that gives your phone more battery life by recycling wasted energy. Made in the USA. Read more
About this project
We have integrated our radio frequency harvesting technology into phone cases for the iPhone 6 and Galaxy S6, allowing you to significantly extend your phone’s battery life by recycling wasted RF waves.
University Technology Partnership
Nikola Labs partnered with The Ohio State University's Electro Science Laboratory to commercialize this groundbreaking RF energy harvesting technology.
In collaboration with Dr. Chi Chih Chen, a world renowned researcher in antenna design and RF energy harvesting and his co-inventors Emre Koksal, Ness Shroff and Roland Tallos, Nikola Technology was born.
This is possible because the case captures wasted RF energy from the phone and recycles it back into the phone resulting in extra battery life, without disrupting call quality or data communication.
System Block Diagram
First, an antenna is used to receive RF signals in cellular and/or WiFi bands. The antenna is followed by the impedance matching circuit to ensure the maximum power transfer to the subsequent rectifying circuitry which converts RF power into DC power. Full-wave rectification is achieved via the use of low-barrier Schottky diodes. The rectifying circuitry is followed by a power management circuitry for ensuring that the harvested DC voltage is compatible with the charging requirements of the mobile device. The last portion of the circuitry is the wireless device interface. This portion includes the necessary connector type for a specific wireless device.
A proof-of-concept prototype design was fabricated and tested to show the reduction of battery consumption rate with the energy harvester circuit attached to a mobile device.
Exemplary RF Harvester Design
Testing in the Lab
Co-inventor and engineer at Nikola Labs, Roland Tallos demonstrates the circuitry and the case producing 5 volts as a result of downloading a file via Google Drive.
The diagram below shows two exemplary test results which compare the iPhone 6 battery discharging rate during continuous data downloading using 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi with and without the RF energy harvester case. These results show a 30% reduction in discharging battery rate in the presence of RF energy harvester.
After proving the technology in the lab, we needed to bring the phone case to life.
Integrating the technology into the iPhone 6 case was no easy task. Through countless iterations in board design, we were able to maximize the performance of the circuitry in the lab.
This involved many iterations of rapid prototyping and user testing of both the phone case and antenna design. Once the case design was refined for optimal performance and manufacturability, we needed to get this technology in front of the public.
To showcase Nikola technology to the public, we went to TechCrunch Disrupt New York. The team generated so much buzz in Startup Alley that we landed a spot presenting in the Startup Battlefield as the 'Audience Choice' wildcard contestant.
Feedback at Disrupt New York was so overwhelmingly positive that we decided to immediately start development on a case for the Galaxy S6 to bring Nikola technology to Android users.
Our goal is fulfill our rewards within 6 months after the end of our campaign. With an estimated ship date of February 2016, we have made progress on our journey to get this technology in the hands of our backers. We still have quite a bit of work to do to make this a reality. This includes:
Additional User Testing and Prototyping: Our iPhone 6 user test results have exceeded our expectations. Over the next two months we will conduct additional user testing for the iPhone 6, Samsung S6 and additional phone models.
Design for Manufacture: To meet our delivery timeline we are quickly moving our PCB and case designs for the iPhone 6 and Samsung S6 to final design for manufacturing.
Manufacturing: We have intentionally built the majority of our supply chain local in Central Ohio. We are closely engaged with our supply partners and will have the early stages of the manufacturing process in motion before our Kickstarter campaign ends.
Fulfillment: Our mission is to deliver a superior product to our backers within six months after the Kickstarter campaign. Every waking moment for much of our team will be focused on this one goal!
Future Product Development: Our line of cases is just the beginning for Nikola Labs. Our team has outlined the next products we will launch and our R&D team is dedicated to this innovation.
Risks and challenges
We have already reached many milestones as a company, the most important being the validation of our technology, and great results from lab and user testing. Many hurdles remain in front of us with many risks. Here are our short term challenges and the steps we are taking to mitigate risks.
Challenge: Delivering a superior product with great form, fit and function.
Solution: We are partnering with companies in Central Ohio with extensive experience in design for manufacturing.
Challenge: Delivering product on a promised timeline.
Solution: We have built the vast majority of our supply chain local to Central Ohio. We are already meeting regularly with each supplier to ensure we are aligned on goals, timelines and quickly solving problems as they arise.
Challenge: Regulatory Compliance
Solution: Our technology requires a regimen of compliance tests which pose the risk of delaying our production timelines. We have partnered with an industry leading company that will manage our compliance requirements to enable distribution across the globe.
Support this project
- (42 days)