Apple Hires Former uBeam Engineers to Beef up Wireless Charging Staff

Jonathan Bolus and Andrew Joyce, engineers who worked on wireless charging and ultrasonic technologies for the startup uBeam, are Apple’s most recent hires. The Cupertino firm has been bolstering its wireless charging team over the past two years.

Perhaps not for the reason the company would like, though. As The Verge has discovered, Apple has been on a recent binge of hiring individuals with some kind of connection with wireless charging and technology related to the feature, which, most recently, includes two engineers that previously worked at uBeam.

The report indicates that over the last couple of years, Apple has been bringing in quite a bit of talent from the wireless charging market. Those latest hires are Jonathan Bolus and Andrew Joyce, and as the report indicates, they left uBeam during a pretty controversial period. Last week, a former engineer published a scathing blog on the state of uBeam, which suggests that the company is not showcasing its product in public because it simply doesn’t work as it’s marketed.

“Like a microphone, the receiver picks up the sound and converts it into usable electrical energy using our proprietary energy-harvesting technology,” explains uBeam.

When the requests stop, power delivery ceases.

Here’s uBeam founder and Chief Executive Officer, Meredith Perry, responding to criticism claiming her technology will be harmful to humans and pets.

“There are many approaches to crafting a breakthrough in wireless charging, and also many applications for the expertise Apple has been acquiring. Its smartwatch already works with wireless charging — not over distance, but as local, inductive charging — which could explain the hiring over the last two years. And it has hired lots of engineers who specialize in ultrasound technology to work on haptics and sensing for wearable devices, so the recent pick-ups from uBeam could be aimed at developing technology unrelated to charging. Apple declined to comment for this piece.”
Earlier in the year, Bloomberg said Apple was developing a brand new long-range wireless charging technology for the iPhone and iPad. Apple’s cutting-edge solution is thought to overcome the technical barriers that uBeam is currently facing, such as loss of power over a greater distance.

Apple was assessing such technology, meaning there are no guarantees of its successful commercialization. In the past, the Cupertino filed several patents pertaining to various long-range wireless charging solutions, one of which described an iMac transmitting power to a Magic Mouse and other nearby devices.


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