Wireless charger update and engineering details
Kickstarter enables us to build great new products together, as a community of like-minded individuals.
As part of that process, we're excited to share both progress updates and cool behind-the-scenes engineering notes.
The latest Qi wireless power technology
Since we kicked off the Kickstarter campaign in May, Texas Instruments has introduced a brand new wireless charger chip. This new chip, the bq500212A, has lots of cool new features–features like lower standby current and smart power delivery monitoring. Along with the extra microcontroller we put in our wireless charger base, these two microchips enable us to build a premium wireless travel charger.
Among other premium features, our wireless charger has a feature called Dynamic Power Limiting. This basically means that it is smart enough to draw enough power to charge at 1 amp when plugged into a high-power USB port but will automatically reduce its power draw on standard 0.5 amp USB ports. And when not charging a device, the charger will automatically drop into an energy-saving standby mode.
The wireless charger is designed to conform to the new Qi 1.1 standard. Among other things, that means that it can receive power measurements from the device that is charging; if the device isn't receiving power properly then our charger is designed to automatically shut off charging and subtly alert you. Smart.
Charger circuit board samples
We completed the charger's electrical design this last week and have included renderings below. Next week we'll be triple-checking all the components to make sure they meet our specifications, routing the chip circuitry, and ordering circuit boards and parts for production samples.
In a few weeks we will have assembled charger circuit boards, prototype coils, and 3D printed cases in hand. We will use those samples to tune the circuitry and verify that the charger is performing as designed. Then we will pre-test the sample in an independent FCC test lab to make sure that it meets FCC emission requirements for home use.
Once the production coils and production charger plastics arrive later this autumn, we will submit the charger for official FCC, IC (Canada), CE, and Qi testing at an independent test lab. Once those certifications are complete we'll put the chargers on the assembly line. We'll also be assembling the required CE paperwork for European customs.
Barring any unexpected delays, we anticipate having chargers ready for backers in December as planned.
And, based on your feedback from the previous update, we will be making extra chargers. More on that later as we firm up our plans and exact schedule.
In parallel to wrapping up the wireless charger design these last few weeks, we've also been busy preparing for the second circuit board spin of the AGENT Smartwatch. And we've been working on an SDK Preview update and the Bluetooth infrastructure for the companion phone apps.
Over the next month we'll switch our update focus to sharing progress and technical details about the smartwatch itself, the SDK and app infrastructure. And of course we'll share photos when the chargers arrive :)
Thank you all for your support,