frequently asked questions

  1. What is eCoupled technology?
  2. Do you plan to manufacture eCoupled-enabled devices or the supporting components?
  3. How did eCoupled come about?
  4. How does it work?
  5. What makes eCoupled technology unique?
  6. What’s the difference between eCoupled and other wireless power technologies?
  7. What is the value of eCoupled?
  8. How was it developed?
  9. When will eCoupled-enabled products be available?
  10. Is eCoupled just a concept?
  11. What is the maximum power that an eCoupled primary coil can provide?
  12. Once a device is fully charged, will the primary coil stop charging the device?
  13. What does eCoupled technology mean for consumers?
  14. In what ways can manufacturers benefit from implementing eCoupled technology?
  15. What level of “future proofing” does the design of the primary coil offer? Will eCoupled be able to charge handheld devices that become available two years from now?
  16. Does the primary coil offer a sleep mode, drawing minimal current until it senses a device that can be charged?
  17. What input voltage range (DC) will the primary coil accept?
  18. How does an eCoupled-enabled countertop know what device is placed on it? In other words, how is it "intelligent”?
  19. Does the eCoupled-enabled countertop have to be comprised of any specific material in order to function?
  20. How does the adaptive inductive power circuit handle simultaneous charging of multiple handheld devices with different charging requirements?
  21. How will eCoupled technology affect the pricing of products?
  22. Who are you affiliated with?
  23. Is there a wireless power standard?
  24. What devices and industries can benefit from the technology?
  25. Can eCoupled technology transfer data?

What is eCoupled technology?

eCoupled is intelligent wireless power based on inductive coupling that allows for safe and efficient power transfer without wires.

Do you plan to manufacture eCoupled-enabled devices or the supporting components?

Fulton Innovation is a technology licensing company. We are currently working with a growing number of designers and supply chain partners who support and manufacture components for our licensing partners.

How did it come about?

Our parent company, Alticor, Inc., developed the Alticor eSpring™ water purification system, which utilizes a UV lamp to destroy any microbes present in the water. However, exposed electrical connectors for the UV lamp subjected it to corrosion and shortened lifecycle issues. To address these issues, our lead scientists developed a method to power the lamp wirelessly. eCoupled technology was born.

How does it work?

eCoupled operates on the principle of resonant magnetic induction. Magnetic induction means that electricity travels via magnetic fields instead of through a physical connection of conductive materials. Most electronics today use a power cord to transport power to the electronic circuits of the device. From there, a transformer uses magnetic induction to form an inductive link that safely transfers power between the internal circuits. eCoupled simply replaces the conductive power cord with another inductive link.

Just like a transformer, eCoupled uses coils to transmit energy. One coil in the eCoupled power supply generates a magnetic field at a frequency that will resonate with a second coil in a device equipped with eCoupled technology This resonant magnetic field causes electricity to be generated in a device with the secondary or receiving coil. One eCoupled power supply can charge or power a multitude of eCoupled compatible devices.

eCoupled technology overcomes the limitations of spatial rigidity, static loads and unacceptable power losses. It intelligently adapts to multiple loads – from milliwatts to kilowatts – and spatial configurations while maximizing energy transfer efficiencies, making eCoupled comparable to hardwired connections.

What makes eCoupled technology unique?

Intelligence - eCoupled uses a proprietary protocol to communicate with the devices it powers. It authorizes instantaneous identification of eCoupled-enabled devices and utilizes two-way feedback on the operation and status of the powered devices to monitor performance and power needs. By using tightly coupled fields and actively maintaining a high level of control, eCoupled is able to realize high efficiencies, reduce energy losses and insure the highest safety levels.

Parasitic Metal Detection - eCoupled immediately recognizes when any inappropriate device or object (non- eCoupled-enabled device) comes within range of a power source and automatically shuts down, maintaining one of the safest operating systems in the industry.

Environmentally Preferred - The intelligence of eCoupled makes it an environmentally preferred solution. Its intelligent communication protocols and design-friendly nature eliminates unnecessary cords and outdated power solutions and reduces energy being wasted through inefficient chargers. It also enables product designers and manufacturers the ability to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce landfill waste.

What’s the difference between eCoupled and other wireless power technologies?

Alternative inductive coupling technologies utilize near-field magnetic induction. Unlike eCoupled, these technologies do not have an intelligent control system.
Conductive coupling requires physical contact through a conductive medium, such as a wire, resistor, or common terminal, such as a binding post or metallic bonding. eCoupled channels power electromagnetically without these constraints.
Broadcast/RF is the broadcast and transfer of electrical energy from point to point. Efficiency of such transfer is comparatively low.
For a more detailed comparison, see below.

Technology
eCoupled™
Intelligent
Wireless Power
Other inductive
coupling systems*
Conductive
coupling*
Broadcast /
RF*
Range
Nearfield for
safety
Very close (mm)
Metal-tometal
contact
required
1-2 meters
Power Transfer Efficiency 98% at 1.4kW Unknown High Low
Adaptive Device
Recognition
Yes No No No
Charging Intelligence Yes No Unknown Unknown
Energy Conservation Yes No Unknown Unknown
Low Power Capable Yes Yes Unknown Yes
Medium Power Capable Yes Unknown Unknown Unknown
High Power Capable Yes Unknown Unknown Unknown
Data Transfer Yes Unknown Unknown Unknown
Meets Safety Standards
(CISPR, ICNIRP and
others)
Yes Unknown Unknown Unknown
Meets FCC Requirements Yes Unknown Unknown Unknown
Mid-Range Distance Yes No No
Yes - low
power and
low
efficiency
only
Patents
600 granted and
pending
Very Few Very Few Very Few

What is the value of eCoupled?

Wireless power is a tremendous step forward in power supply/transfer for any industry or application. In addition to the convenience of eliminating incompatible power cords, it also enables our electronics to be more reliable, safe and energy-efficient.

How was it developed?

eCoupled was originally developed by Fulton Innovation as a safe way to wirelessly power a 38W UV lamp in the Alticor eSpring™ Water Purifier. As the technology was adapted to solve the challenges within the eSpring system, its broad potential application to virtually any electronic power system was realized. Additional developments ensued; a strong IP portfolio was established; and Fulton Innovation began building relationships with manufacturing partners interested in a variety of benefits–from design freedom and differentiation to product safety, durability and reliability.

When will eCoupled-enabled products be available?

eCoupled has been on the market as a part of the Alticor eSpring Water Purifier for over 10 years. New eCoupled-enabled products include the Dell™ Latitude™ Z and the Energizer® Hard Case® Professional® LED Swivel Light. Additional products are slated to go to market in 2010.

Is eCoupled just a concept?

eCoupled is a reality. The engineers behind eCoupled technology have been developing and perfecting the technology for over 12 years. eCoupled technology has been in the marketplace for over 10 years in Alticor’s eSpring™ Water Purifier with over 1.5 million systems sold in 40 countries and territories to date.

What is the maximum power that an eCoupled primary coil can provide?

Presently, the technology is transferring over 1,400 watts at better than 98% efficiency. However, further scaling up is possible as applications evolve.

Once a device is fully charged, will the primary coil stop charging the device?

Yes, the primary power supply responds to the needs of the device and if a given device is fully charged, eCoupled technology recognizes this state and discontinues power delivery.

What does eCoupled technology mean for consumers?

Consumers who have been frustrated by too many incompatible wires, cords and chargers can now look forward to the convenience of having a single universal solution for charging their devices wirelessly.

In what ways can manufacturers benefit from implementing eCoupled technology?

Manufacturers can benefit from increased product safety and performance, product differentiation, lower production costs and lower warranty costs. There’s also increasing consumer demand to eliminate incompatible power cords.

What level of “future proofing” does the design of the primary coil offer? Will eCoupled be able to charge handheld devices that become available two years from now?

Flexible designs have been developed to incorporate standards that would allow the technology to be highly versatile over an extended period of time.

Does the primary coil offer a sleep mode, drawing minimal current until it senses a device that can be charged?

Yes. It currently draws a minimal current while searching for an eCoupled-enabled device. When a device is recognized, it will analyze and supply power as needed.

What input voltage range (DC) will the primary coil accept?

DC rail voltages have been scaled from 3VDC to 340VDC.

Does Fulton Innovation plan to manufacture eCoupled-enabled devices or the supporting components?

Currently, we are working with a growing number of supply chain partners who manufacture components for our licensing partners.

How does an eCoupled-enabled countertop know what device is placed on it? In other words, how is it "intelligent”?

Before activating the primary coil embedded in the countertop, eCoupled technology uses a combination of sophisticated software algorithms and simple communications protocols to identify and profile each device. It then can recognize specific power requirements for that device and calculate the safest and most efficient method to deliver power wirelessly based upon coil geometry and location, battery charge profile (if present) and age of the device. From there, it monitors the power delivery and device condition and intelligently shuts down to conserve energy and eliminate waste.

Does the eCoupled-enabled countertop have to be comprised of any specific material in order to function?

eCoupled technology can be embedded into virtually any work surface with the exception of stainless steel or other metals. In the latter cases, we have methods for creating windows in surfaces to ensure power transfer occurs without interference.

How does the adaptive inductive power circuit handle simultaneous charging of multiple handheld devices with different charging requirements?

Our engineers have developed proprietary solutions designed to handle everything from simple to very complex charging scenarios.

How will eCoupled technology affect the pricing of products?

eCoupled technology provides a low cost method to implement wireless power. Ultimate pricing will depend on specific features and benefits and will be determined by the manufacturers who license eCoupled technology.

Who are you affiliated with?

Fulton Innovation is bringing eCoupled technology to market through partnerships with leading organizations in a wide range of industries. Fulton Innovation and a growing list of industry leaders, including Avid, Bosch, Case-mate, Dell, Energizer, Leggett & Platt, Motorola, Texas Instruments and the Wireless Power Consortium, are working together to commercialize portable consumer electronics solutions and create a global standard.

Is there a wireless power standard?

Fulton Innovation is a member of the Wireless Power Consortium, a global organization of industry-leading companies including Philips, Samsung, Motorola, Texas Instruments, Sanyo, Nokia and more.  In June 2010, the WPC created the Qi wireless power global standard for handheld devices such as cell phones, MP3 players, and digital cameras, requiring five watts of power or less.  The standard opens the door for full interoperability between device manufacturers and OEMs worldwide - a vital step in driving widespread consumer adoption of wireless power. The standard includes elements of Fulton's eCoupled technology.

What devices and industries can benefit from the technology?

Any product that requires power can utilize eCoupled technology, from common consumer electronics devices, to medical devices, power tools, office electronics and household appliances.

Fulton Innovation has integrated low-cost modulation into the circuit enabling the primary and eCoupled-enabled device to wirelessly transfer data at rates of up to 1.1 Mbps.

 

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