Jake Slatnick, Eric Goodchild, Simon McElrea, and Marc Rosenmayr Aira Inc. Chandler, AZ

Winner of an HP Workstation

Wireless power based on the Qi standard has established itself as the preferred technology for charging mobile devices in cars, homes, and common spaces worldwide. A broad ecosystem of thousands of interoperable devices has been built over the years and the majority of OEMs now include wireless charging stations in their vehicles.

Unfortunately, the automotive wireless charging experience is flawed because the receiver device needs to be precisely aligned with the transmitting device, pockets or rails are required to hold devices in place (but sizes vary widely), only one device can charge at a time, and charging stations are not compatible with certain phones, headsets, or cases.

Today’s transmitters typically feature one or three charging coil(s) located in the center of the charger. If the user’s device is not precisely aligned with the coil, it will not receive power.

FreePower overcomes all these limitations with an advanced hardware and firmware approach that enables surface power in any size. FreePower charging stations (transmitters) consist of a matrix of overlapping coils that tracks the location of devices (receivers) placed on its surface, intelligently positioning magnetic fields that deliver efficient and precise power, even as receivers shift across the surface. Independently controlled charging zones enable several devices to charge simultaneously, with up to 15 Watts per device.

The solution leverages the Qi standard library of compatible devices. Unlike traditional wireless chargers that require precise alignment, FreePower features full surface charging from corner to corner. As Qi-enabled devices are placed across the charging surface, power is delivered to each one and intelligently managed to optimize performance and efficiency.

A first generation of this technology was successfully validated and launched as a consumer product and Aira is now collaborating with OEMs and a Tier1 to deploy the second-generation platform for automotive applications. Charging surfaces can be designed in any size, allowing OEMs to deliver surface power across an entire fleet of vehicles. An automotive wireless charging station integrated in a center console is capable of powering three devices simultaneously at up to 15 Watts per device.

For more information, visit here .


Xogo — Accessibility for Everyone

Ray Abel and Dalton Banks, Bansen Labs, Coraopolis, PA
The scalable platform allows users to connect to gaming systems.

A scalable and adaptive open platform lets users of all abilities connect to consumer technology in ways suited to their personal needs. Someone who uses a wheelchair can connect their joystick to their gaming system and play games online with their friends and use the switches on their headrests to open doors and activate lights.

For more information, visit here .

Float Thermometer — Baby Bottle Application

Scott Hines, Making Life Enjoyable Products, Canton, MI
The thermometer takes the temperature of milk inside of a baby bottle.

The float thermometer takes the temperature of the milk inside a baby bottle and communicates the fluid’s temperature by visual means or by both visual means and wireless transmission of the temperature to a standalone device via access point or Wi-Fi communication.

For more information, visit here .

Breakthrough Polyurethane for Comfort Applications

Srivastava Yasmin, Juan Carlos Medina, James Facello, Jessica Chang, Yin Tang, Gretchen Baier, Tom Fielitz, Christopher Thiede, Roy Gamboa, Heather Mikel, Michelle Tipps, and Charmain Surles of Dow Chemical, Lake Jackson, TX; and Wayne Celia of Cell Foam Solutions, Woonsocket, RI
HYPOL foams are odor-free.

HYPOL™ JM 5013/JB 1009 is a two-component, water-based, catalyst-free polyurethane chemistry for cosmetics and personal care products. The foams are odor-free and less irritating to skin/inhalation and without VOC, residual catalyst, or solvents.

For more information, visit here .

Vision X — Assistive Smart Glass for Blind People

K. Premnath, Uxmint, Chennai, India
The glass uses a set of high-def cameras.

Vision X is a smart voice-based glass for people who are completely blind. The glass uses a set of high-definition cameras for image processing and a LiDAR sensor for distance measurement.

For more information, visit here .

See the rest of this year's winners: