Element14 has named two winners in its “Beyond the Phone” Wireless Power Challenge. They were chosen out of 12 finalists from around the world who built wireless power solutions for everyday purposes using technology from Würth Elektronik and Texas Instruments.
Eduardo Iscar Ruland of Spain won the grand prize for his work on a “man overboard” transponder. His build is still in progress and, once complete, has significant implications for those working at sea. Ruland will receive a Macbook Pro with retina display.
Members of the element14 design community voted Mark Beckett of New Zealand as the winner of the Community Choice award. Beckett integrated wireless power into everything from an e-List application to an illuminated beer tap. The prize for the Community Choice award is a Google Nexus 7. Both Ruland and Beckett will participate in a Google Hangout at 9pm GMT July 23 to discuss their builds and the evolution of wireless power.
This competition aimed to liberate design engineers from the tether of traditional power supplies, and ultimately bring wirelessly controlled devices to consumers. This was element14’s second wireless power competition, and the proposed projects evolved significantly from the first such challenge in 2013.
“The finalists’ use of wireless power was forward-thinking and imaginative,” said Dianne Kibbey, global head of community at element14. “While we’re only able to recognise two as winners, we’d like to thank everyone around the world who produced such extraordinary projects with such a wide variety of applications.”
Builds ranged from a wirelessly charged skin cancer screening device to a universal, portable charging pad to an emergency light pathway for senior citizens. Competitors used the Wireless Power Solution Transfer Kit, which is produced by Texas Instruments (TI) and Würth Elektronik, as well as $275 for additional components, courtesy of TI, and a 12-month CadSoft Pro License.
“Congratulations to the contest winners and many thanks to all of the contest participants,” said Upal Sengupta, applications manager, Texas Instruments. “The great number of clever, innovative ideas shows that the possibilities for wireless power technology go far beyond what is in commercial use today. We look forward to seeing many exciting new applications emerge in the months and years to come.”
“With joy and pride, we followed the excellent work of the participants of the Wireless Power Challenge,” said Simon Leuz, distribution sales manager EMEA, Würth Elektronik. “We are convinced we brought the technology of wireless power a step closer to our everyday lives with those projects and with the WPC Kit.”


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