WiTricity

WiTricity commercializes new technology for wireless electricity invented at MIT.

Location: 
Watertown, MA
Type: 
VC-Funded Company
Category: 
Smart Grid

WiTricity Corp. was founded in 2007 to commercialize an exciting new technology for wireless electricity invented two years earlier at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

A team of physicists, led by Professor Marin Solja?i?, developed the theoretical basis for this novel method for wireless electric power transfer in 2005, and validated their theories experimentally in 2007. The magnetic fields of two properly designed devices with closely matched resonant frequencies can couple into a single continuous magnetic field. Prof. Solja?i?'s team showed how to use this phenomenon to enable the transfer of power from one device to the other at high efficiency and over a distance range that is useful for real-world applications. This “strong coupling” enables the devices to exchange energy via magnetism, and avoids the potential safety hazards and inefficiency often associated with radiated electro-magnetic energy.

Their demonstration of wireless power transfer showed a 60 watt light bulb being illuminated from a power source over 2 meters away, and their results were published in the prestigious journal Science in July 2007.

More important than simply proving they could illuminate a light bulb, the experiment validated their theoretical models of how electric power is wirelessly transferred as a function of the geometry, distance, and electrical properties of the devices used.

This demonstration achieved broad media attention when it was announced, indicating both the intense public interest and commercial need for wireless power transfer. Prof. Solja?i? was recognized with a MacArthur Fellowship (also known as “Genius Grant”) in September 2008, awarded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. In addition, his work was recognized as one of the “Top Ten Emerging Technologies for 2008” by Technology Review, “Top 100 Science Stories of 2007” by Discover Magazine, and cited in The New York Times Magazine: “The Year in Ideas – 2007.”

As the exclusive licensee of this MIT intellectual property, WiTricity Corp. was founded by Prof. Solja?i? and several colleagues from MIT. WiTricity Corp. received its initial venture capital funding in November of 2007 from Stata Ventures and Argonaut Private Equity. Stata Ventures is a technology investment firm managed by Ray Stata, the founder, Chairman, and former CEO of Analog Devices.

Witricity is one of the 10 winners of General Electric's Ecomagination Home Challenge.

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