Fulton Innovation and eCoupled Technology
By Chris West

James Lenhart and Chris Weaver in the Tesla Roadster

Fulton Innovation was amongst the exhibitors at this year’s CES, and they were kind enough to offer us a personal tour of their section on the show floor. Their eCoupled technology is similar to the power mats you may be familiar with, but with one key difference; They don’t require physical contact.

The first and most noticeable thing we saw when approaching the Fulton booth was the enthusiastically blinking magazine rack. Upon some further investigation, we found it was performing its job quite perfectly. Our host had teamed up with Time Inc and is working on covers that are more appealing to potential customers. Along with the magazines, an assortment of other products could be seen hanging-out on the shelves. Everything was flashing and blinking, just waiting to picked up and taken home.

After spending a few minutes discussing the possibilities of eCoupled packaging, we moved on to a display of cell phones. We’ve all seen the power mats available for purchase, but these just had an element of refinement not available with a simple mat. The eCoupled technology doesn’t require contacts to physically touch, and this opens up a world of possibilities. First of all, most phones on display weren’t required to be encased in an awkward enclosure. The majority of them simply had a modified back plate. In fact, they even had a phone on display that had the charging feature built right into the battery. We were shown the traditional “mat” charger, but then brought to a table where a phone could charge simply by placing it on the surface. The phone would even charge through a bag or purse. If this wasn’t exciting enough, charging this way won’t interfere with your phone’s NFC capabilities.

Having eCoupled “hot spots” isn’t only about charging phones through your table. They also presented us with a quick demo showing how this could be useful in your home. On display was a wireless blender and pan. Placing the items over the correct spot on the counter supplied instant power. Anyone with even slightly cramped counter space in their home or apartment should be able to see the usefulness here. We were even able to get water to boil in the pan pretty quickly, and the surface of the counter barely changed in temperature.

Last and most definitely not least, we were shown what Fulton Innovation has been working on to help us with our electric cars. A slightly modified Tesla Roadster sat quietly in the corner, softly glowing from the blue ring of light directly below. It was being wirelessly charged from a “hot spot” on the ground. We were informed that even if a driver parked over sixteen inches off center, that it would still be able to be efficiently charged. We even had the privilege of seeing the technology they were working on to allow business owners to bill patrons directly through their phone.

As our tour with Fulton ended, our buzzing excitement for the future of wireless technology did not. We continued talking about different applications for the eCoupled technology for the next few hours, and then sporadically throughout the duration of our trip. The employees and promoters were as nice as they could be, and we are glad we got the chance to meet with them.

Fulton Innovation
eCoupled Homepage
International CES 2012 Coverage

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